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30 Angst Writing Prompts

Angst Writing Prompts

Writing is a great way to work through those tough, complicated feelings we all have sometimes.

Angst is one of those intense emotions that can make for some really powerful stories – you know, the kind that stick with you.

If you feel like getting some of those angsty vibes out or you just want to write something that feels deep and real, these prompts are a good place to start.

So grab something to write with, and let’s channel those messy, sometimes painful, but very human feelings.

30 Angst Writing Prompts

  1. A Sudden Reveal of a Deep Secret: Imagine your main character has been holding onto a secret for years, a secret that, if revealed, could potentially destroy the relationships they value most. In a moment of overwhelming guilt or weakness, the secret is finally let out. Think about how they’d react, who they would tell, and how those around them would respond. It’s a story of deep-rooted angst, betrayal, and forgiveness.

  2. Internal Struggle with Identity: The main character is grappling with an identity crisis. They’ve always lived a life that is expected of them, but a sudden event forces them to question everything. They must navigate their own feelings of angst, confusion, and fear as they seek to redefine themselves. Focus on the struggle of finding their true identity amid societal expectations.

  3. Loss and Loneliness: The main character has just lost someone extremely close to them, like a spouse or a parent. They are filled with regret for the things unsaid, and the sudden loneliness is unbearable. This prompt involves exploring the main character’s grief, longing, and how they find a way to cope with the emptiness of loss.

  4. The Downward Spiral: The character is suffering from a substance abuse problem that has begun to consume their life. As they start to lose everything they hold dear, they realize they need to fight their demons. This prompt is about the exploration of the protagonist’s struggle, denial, acceptance, and the painful journey towards recovery.

  5. The Unfulfilled Dream: Your main character had a dream that was never realized. They’ve grown older, and the unfulfilled dream has become a constant source of anguish and regret. Dive into the pain of unrealized dreams, and how your character grapples with the reality of their life vs. what they’d imagined.

  6. Love that Cannot Be: The main character is deeply in love with someone who can’t reciprocate their feelings. The pain of this unrequited love is a constant in their life, affecting their decisions and actions. The main focus of this prompt is the exploration of one-sided love, the turmoil of loving someone unattainable and the path to acceptance and healing.

  7. Reliving a Traumatic Past: The character has a traumatic past that they’ve managed to bury deep within. But a trigger in the present forces them to relive the painful memories, throwing their life into chaos. This prompt explores the journey of the character confronting their past trauma and the process of healing and overcoming.

  8. The Long Goodbye: The main character’s loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and they have to come to terms with the impending loss. The story focuses on their struggle to make the most of the time left, dealing with anticipatory grief and preparing for a life without them. Your task is to depict the complex emotions involved in a prolonged farewell.

  9. The Burden of Success: The protagonist has achieved the pinnacle of success in their field, something they’ve strived for all their life. But once there, they feel empty and disillusioned, the reality not living up to their expectations. This prompt explores the protagonist’s struggle to find meaning and happiness, amidst the crushing weight of their success.

  10. Living a Lie: Your main character lives a double life. To the outside world, they seem perfect, but behind closed doors, they’re hiding something that could shatter their perfect image. The story should focus on the tension of maintaining the facade and the angst when the truth begins to emerge.

  11. The Illness Within: Your character is diagnosed with a debilitating mental illness. Their once-ordinary life becomes a daily battle, filled with anxiety, confusion, and despair. The narrative should focus on the character’s struggle with their mental health, the impact it has on their relationships, and their journey towards acceptance and healing.

  12. Friendship Turned Sour: The main character has a falling out with their best friend. The dispute is ugly, leading to intense feelings of betrayal and heartache. Center the story around the pain of a broken friendship, and the struggle to move on or mend what’s been broken.

  13. Haunted by a Mistake: The protagonist made a life-altering mistake in their past which led to catastrophic consequences. Now, they are haunted by their decision, filled with guilt, regret, and self-loathing. The narrative needs to focus on the character’s attempt to reconcile with their past mistake and the emotional turmoil they go through.

  14. The Outsider: The main character is a part of a community or a family, but they always feel like an outsider. They try to fit in, but the feeling of being different is overwhelming. This prompt explores the angst of always feeling like an outsider and the struggle for acceptance and belonging.

  15. Unwanted Inheritance: The protagonist inherits something from a family member – a secret, a debt, or a responsibility – that they don’t want. The inheritance throws their life into chaos and forces them to confront unresolved family issues. The story should delve into the protagonist’s struggle with the unwanted inheritance and its effects on their life.

  16. The Price of Ambition: Your character is ambitious and stops at nothing to achieve their goals. However, they soon realize that their ambition is costing them their relationships and personal life. The story should explore the character’s internal conflict between ambition and personal happiness, and the anguish they go through to find a balance.

  17. Family Scandal: The protagonist comes from a reputable family that prides itself on their image. Suddenly, a scandal surfaces that threatens to ruin their reputation and divide the family. This story revolves around the main character’s struggle to deal with the public shame and familial discord the scandal brings.

  18. A Broken Promise: The main character made a promise to a loved one in the past, a promise they couldn’t keep. The aftermath of this broken promise leads to a deep sense of guilt and regret. Your narrative should focus on the character’s anguish over their broken promise, and the measures they take to rectify their mistake.

  19. Living in the Shadow: The main character has grown up in the shadow of a highly successful sibling or parent. Despite their own achievements, they’re constantly compared and feel they’ll never measure up. This prompt explores the protagonist’s struggle with feelings of inadequacy and their quest for individuality and recognition.

  20. An Unforgivable Act: The protagonist does something in a moment of anger that results in grave consequences. They hurt someone they care deeply about, and this act is viewed as unforgivable by others. The main focus of this story is the protagonist’s journey to earn forgiveness and their personal redemption.

  21. The Fear of Abandonment: Your main character has deep-seated fears of being abandoned due to past experiences. This fear affects their relationships and makes them act in self-destructive ways. The narrative should focus on the protagonist’s struggle with their fear of abandonment, and the impact it has on their life.

  22. Choosing Between Two Loves: The main character is torn between two people they deeply love. They are paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice, causing angst and torment. This story should delve into the pain of being caught between two loves and the subsequent consequences of their decision.

  23. The Disgrace of Failure: The protagonist has always been a high achiever, but they experience a significant failure for the first time. This failure is public and brings a lot of humiliation and disgrace. This prompt should explore the character’s emotional turmoil following the failure and their journey to regain confidence.

  24. Betrayal of Trust: Your character trusted someone implicitly, only to be betrayed in the most shocking way. This betrayal throws their world into chaos, making them question their ability to trust others. The story should explore the protagonist’s struggle to overcome the betrayal and rebuild their faith in people.

  25. Haunted by a False Accusation: Your main character was falsely accused of a crime in the past, an incident that continues to haunt them. They’ve been cleared, but the incident left a stain on their life. The story should focus on the protagonist’s struggle to overcome the stigma of a false accusation and how they rebuild their life.

  26. Facing a Phobia: The protagonist suffers from a severe phobia that cripples their daily life and relationships. The story should follow their emotional turmoil, the impact of their phobia on their life, and their struggle to overcome it. The main focus should be on the protagonist’s journey to face and conquer their deepest fear.

  27. Survivor’s Guilt: The protagonist survived an accident where others didn’t, leading to deep survivor’s guilt. They feel unworthy of having survived, and it’s eating them up inside. The narrative should center around the protagonist’s battle with survivor’s guilt and their journey towards forgiveness and acceptance.

  28. The Unwanted Gift: Your character has a unique gift or ability they view as a curse rather than a blessing. They feel alienated and misunderstood because of it. Your story should focus on the internal conflict they feel about their gift, the trials they face because of it, and how they come to terms with it.

  29. Life After a Life Sentence: The protagonist has been released from prison after serving a long sentence. They are free but find it difficult to adjust to the outside world. This story should delve into the challenges of reintegration after prison, including dealing with societal judgment, finding employment, and mending broken relationships.

  30. Unwilling Role of a Hero: The main character, an ordinary individual, suddenly finds themselves hailed as a hero due to an unintentional act of bravery. However, they struggle with the expectations, the sudden fame, and the fear of not living up to their hero status. The narrative should focus on the character’s struggle with the unwanted role of a hero and their search for normalcy.