Tag Archives: revenge

Writing prompts: Unspoken

24 Nov

Some things are better left unsaid is a saying, right? It could mean that some things we are better off not knowing, but in this case I’ll take it that showing can be better than telling. This set of writing prompts is about how the unspoken can be used to benefit a character, give them some depth with subtlety. Saying things out loud can sometimes make things seem trivial and in this case we’ll use that to our advantage. Oh, the wonderful life of a writer! Let’s play with some imaginary friends…

1. Friends
Showing respect for a friend is best done by actually showing respect. Your character is the friend of an eccentric writer with mental issues. Without being asked to friend regularly shows up and helps out the writer with little things. Show one of these acts of kindness and how both characters respond to this act. Feel free to add a flashback to show the depth of their relationship, but keep the dialogue to a minimum, or at least avoid deep conversations.

2. Grudge
Two colleagues, one (dangerous?) job, and one secret. Drop two characters and a moral dilemma on the page. One character (A) knows more about the other, because of a secret where A is the victim and B the perpetrator. Were they thrown together by fate? Or was it all planned from the start? Either way, A is now in a position to strike a blow, figuratively speaking or literally, that’s up to you. A lot of time has passed, however, and the victim has seen another side to B. Can he/she do what his/her darker side wants him/her to do? Why does he/she want revenge anyway? Make it interesting. A plot twist might not hurt.

3. Jealousy
Character A is in love with Character B, but Character B has just started dating Character C. How does A show (against his/her will) jealousy? Does B pick up on this? If so, how does B handle this? You can make A an extremely proud or shy character. How will A handle this new development without being able to say what A feels? Perhaps B feels the same way as A but can’t say it either. Dialogue could be very interesting here. Riddle it with clues for the reader!

Feel free to make your own variation. Hopefully this sparked something in that wonderful mind of yours. Grab the brushes and start painting a new world in your head. The unspoken words that someone holds in their heart are always the most powerful. They are unspoken for a reason. Tortured characters are the most interesting ones.

“…I gave you painted air – tears I couldn’t weep – truths I couldn’t speak – all the words that caught in my throat…”
― John Geddes, A Familiar Rain 


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