Four writing prompts: Revenge

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise when someone believes he has wrongly suffered. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on revenge.

Man vs. nature
While on a trip in the wilderness to rest and relax, our main character finds that someone is out to kill him for revenge. How does he survive the challenges of nature as trying to outwit his would-be assassin?

Man vs. man
The main character’s former spouse, livid at her perceived abandonment and betrayal, plots to send him to prison and ruin his life. How would she do this? What effect would this have on the main character’s friendships, career and intimate relationships? How would the main character respond to and overcome this threat?

Man vs. society
What if to destroy the society that suppresses his people, the protagonist must become one of his overlords (Perhaps through an elaborate scheme he infiltrates this society.)? Will the material trappings of the suppressor become too much for him to resist? How does he go about bringing the collapse of this society? What if a member of the suppressor discovers his secret plan?

Man vs. himself
Our protagonist must decide if he will avenge a man who stole his wife and ripped apart his family and life. On one level, the protagonist may fantasize about revenge and decide there’s nothing that can be done in the real world. On another level, he may be overcome with emotion and act out of passion. Or perhaps he will realize that no one stole his wife but that he lost it all on his own and make changes to ensure this doesn’t happen to him again. What choice will he make and how will he arrive at it?


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.