Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from seeking retribution for an injustice either real or perceived. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on vengeance.
Man vs. nature
In an act of revenge, a man sabotages a boat or a small plane, leaving his nemesis – our main character – stranded at sea or in an inhospitable environment. How does the main character survive the threats of nature? Does he then seek revenge himself on the man who set him up to die?
Man vs. man
Desperate to lay his past to rest, the antagonist decides to exact revenge on all who made him miserable – including our story’s protagonist. What can our protagonist do to stop the villain? Does the protagonist feel any guilt over what he did in the past to the antagonist. Why or why not?
Man vs. society
Our main character decides his hatred for the current system justifies supporting an invader who will wipe it out. But does support of the invader mean an even worse system will be ushered in? What if the main character determines after the invasion that it does – and then switches sides?
Man vs. himself
For a perceived injustice against those who the protagonist holds dear but was unable to fully protect, he decides to seek revenge. Why was he not able to protect those he loved? Can revenge bring redemption and justice or will it only bring more destruction, including of his own soul?