28 Writing Prompts About Betrayal

Writing Prompts about Betrayal


It stings like getting hit by a wasp and leaves a stain that’s impossible to get out. Remember that Shakespeare play with “Et tu, Brute?” or when your BFF blabs your secrets?

Yeah, betrayal cuts like a knife through trust, leaving a deep ache that never really goes away.

It might be as common as love, but way less fun to talk about. But hey, writers, thinkers, and even those shrink types have been obsessed with betrayal for ages.

These prompts are basically like a choose-your-own-adventure for exploring betrayal. We’ll crack open this whole betrayal thing, see its different sides, and maybe, just maybe, help you deal with those stings that only words can soothe.

Let’s begin.

Writing Prompts about Betrayal

  1. Childhood Friendship Shattered Over Money: Imagine two friends who have known each other since childhood. They’re more like family than friends, having gone through thick and thin together. However, their friendship takes a dark turn when one of them suddenly inherits a large sum of money and starts changing—going as far as framing the other for a crime they didn’t commit in order to protect their newfound wealth. Write a story that explores how the accused friend navigates this complex betrayal.

  2. Corporate Backstabbing for a Promotion: You’ve been working diligently for years at your job with your closest colleague. You’ve shared both professional secrets and personal stories, considering them a friend both inside and outside the office. When a high-ranking position opens up that both of you are vying for, they undermine you during the selection process, going to great lengths to tarnish your reputation. Detail how you cope with this betrayal in the workplace while keeping your professionalism intact.

  3. Torn Between Love and Family: Your protagonist is in love with someone who, against all odds, loves them back with the same passion. However, their sibling doesn’t approve of the relationship for some reason and schemes to break them up, ultimately succeeding. Examine how the protagonist navigates the double betrayal of losing the love of their life and discovering their sibling’s deception.

  4. High School Secrets: In a tight-knit group of high school friends, one of them is harboring a painful secret. Trusting one friend in the group with this vulnerability, they find that the secret gets out, dramatically affecting their life and social standing. Explore the emotional and social repercussions of the betrayal, and how it changes the group dynamics permanently.

  5. The Lying Mentor: Your protagonist has always looked up to a mentor in their field—someone who has guided them through their early career, giving advice and opening doors for them. They discover, however, that this mentor has been sabotaging them behind their back to eliminate them as competition. Write a story about how the protagonist comes to terms with this devastating betrayal and decides on a course of action.

  6. Marital Deception for a “Greater Good”: Imagine a long-term couple who have always appeared to be the epitome of love and mutual respect. One day, one partner discovers that their spouse has been leading a double life, lying about their activities and whereabouts—but for a cause they passionately believe in, like political activism or humanitarian work. Explore the emotional complexities the betrayed spouse feels when the cause is virtuous, but the betrayal is still real.

  7. Friendship and the Betrayal of Trust in a Small Town: In a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, two lifelong friends find themselves in the middle of a scandal when one reveals a devastating secret about the other to the entire town, causing public humiliation. Write a story focused on how the betrayed friend decides to handle the betrayal: whether to seek revenge, reconciliation, or simply move on.

  8. Sibling Rivalry Turned Dark: Two siblings grow up very close, but as they become adults, they start growing apart due to different life choices and ideologies. When their parents pass away and leave them a substantial inheritance, one sibling manipulates legal loopholes to seize almost everything, leaving the other with next to nothing. Describe how the betrayed sibling confronts not just the loss of the inheritance but the realization that their brother or sister is not the person they thought they were.

  9. Memory and Misdirection: Your protagonist suffers from periodic memory losses, relying heavily on their partner to fill in the blanks of their life. One day, they stumble upon a series of journals they’ve kept, which reveals inconsistencies in the stories their partner has been telling them. Craft a story around the protagonist’s realization that their most trusted confidant may have been manipulating their perceived reality for years.

  10. Hidden Affections in a Group of Friends: In a group of college friends, two individuals have been secretly in love with each other for years. One day, one confesses their feelings to a mutual friend, only to have that friend pursue and start a relationship with their love interest. Explore the internal conflict the betrayed person feels as they grapple with the secrecy of their emotions and the overt betrayal of their confidant.

  11. Misleading Protege: An accomplished artist takes a young, promising talent under their wing. The mentor, over time, shares techniques, contacts, and industry secrets. But, as the protege’s fame rises, they publicly discredit their mentor’s work and methods. Dive deep into the mentor’s emotional journey, battling feelings of regret, anger, and the betrayal of their student.

  12. Health and Hidden Agendas: Imagine a world where one partner hides a serious health condition from their spouse, not out of malice, but out of fear. The spouse eventually discovers the truth not from their partner, but from an anonymous source. Write about the multifaceted feelings of betrayal, concern for their partner’s health, and the unraveling of trust.

  13. Ghostwriter Gone Rogue: A renowned author, struggling with writer’s block, secretly employs a ghostwriter for their latest novel. This ghostwriter, seeing an opportunity, writes subtle but incriminating truths about the author into the story, leading to public scandal when the book is published. Explore the betrayal the author feels, as their name and reputation are dragged through the mud due to another’s words.

  14. Betrayed by Blood: A person discovers they were adopted late in life, not by their parents’ admission, but through a third-party revelation. To add more complexity, they find out their best friend has known the truth for years but kept it hidden. Weave a narrative about the protagonist’s quest for identity and the feeling of betrayal from both family and friends.

  15. War and Whispers: Set during a tumultuous period of war, a soldier receives word that their hometown was betrayed by one of its own—someone they thought was a brother-in-arms. Pen a tale of the soldier’s journey back home, driven by a desire for answers, revenge, and understanding in the face of such treachery.

  16. Benevolent Deception: A young entrepreneur is starting a social initiative in their community. They’re approached by a seemingly philanthropic investor who offers the necessary funds to kickstart the project. Months into the collaboration, the entrepreneur discovers the investor’s real intentions are to seize control and divert the project for personal gains. Narrate the young entrepreneur’s challenges as they try to save their venture and deal with the profound sense of betrayal.

  1. Voyage of Betrayal: Set in the era of explorers and new world discoveries, a ship’s captain confides in their first mate about a secret, potentially treacherous route that promises immense wealth. When they’re almost there, the captain is mutinied against and left on an uninhabited island, while the crew, led by the first mate, takes over. Write about the captain’s tale of survival, revenge, and the struggle with feelings of treachery.

  2. The House with Two Faces: In a close-knit neighborhood, a resident takes in a homeless person out of compassion. The community praises the resident for their generosity, but behind closed doors, the homeless individual discovers that their benefactor is involved in illicit activities and expects them to partake. Explore the journey of the newcomer as they decide between exposing the truth or becoming an accomplice to maintain shelter.

  3. The Saving Grace: A renowned surgeon saves a patient’s life, only to later find out that the patient is involved in activities that directly harm the surgeon’s loved ones. Delve deep into the moral and emotional turmoil of the surgeon as they grapple with the implications of their life-saving actions.

  4. Blinded by Ambition: A journalist and their trusted source have worked together for years, breaking many significant stories. However, in pursuit of a groundbreaking story, the source fabricates information, leading the journalist to publish a false report. When the truth emerges, both their reputations are at stake. Focus on the journalist’s journey to uncover the reasons behind the betrayal and their battle to redeem their credibility.

  5. The Poisoned Chalice: In a world of medieval politics, a king’s advisor, once a trusted childhood friend, slowly and discreetly poisons the king’s mind against his own family, making him believe they’re plotting against him. Write about the royal family’s plight, being exiled and fighting to both reclaim their place and expose the advisor’s sinister plots.

  6. The Double Life of a Spouse: A partner in a decade-long marriage seems perfect. One day, their spouse discovers they have a second family in another city. Craft a story that delves into the complexities of love, trust, and deception as the spouse confronts this shocking revelation.

  7. The Silent Observer: A teenager records their daily life, hoping to make a documentary about teenage struggles. They secretly capture a conversation where their close friends confess to committing an act that directly harmed the teenager. Explore the teen’s conflicting emotions as they decide between confronting their friends, seeking justice, or silently nursing their wounds.

  8. The Charity Mirage: An individual dedicates their life to a charitable cause, investing all their savings and energy. Just when they’re about to make a significant difference, they find out the organization’s leaders have been embezzling funds. Chronicling the individual’s disillusionment, map out their course of action: expose the truth, start afresh, or abandon the cause entirely.

  9. The Unheard Symphony: An upcoming musician composes an original symphony, their magnum opus, and shares it with a close friend in a renowned orchestra. Months later, the musician hears their composition being performed on a grand stage, credited entirely to their friend. Write about the musician’s journey as they confront the theft of their creation and seek acknowledgment in a world that’s ready to dismiss the unknown.

  10. Guardian or Greed?: After parents pass away, a younger sibling is left in the care of the elder one. The parents left behind a substantial inheritance meant for the younger sibling’s education and well-being. Years later, the younger sibling discovers most of the money has been squandered by the elder on personal indulgences. Dive into the younger sibling’s emotions as they grapple with a sense of abandonment and betrayal by the only family they had left.

  11. The Ghost of Past Mistakes: A person has worked hard to move past a troubled history, creating a new life in a new city. Their past is a secret, known only to one old friend. This friend, harboring resentment, resurfaces and threatens to expose the person’s past to their new community. Chronicling the person’s fear and desperation, explore how they manage the shadows of the past while fighting for their present.

  12. The Recipe Thief: In a quaint town known for its culinary delights, a baker perfects a unique recipe over the years. A competitor, under the guise of friendship, visits the bakery and manages to steal the secret recipe, later claiming it as their own and receiving widespread acclaim. Whisk readers into a delicious drama as the original baker strategizes to reclaim their rightful legacy and confront the imposter.