Would some psychological thriller writing prompts help to spark some ideas for your novel? Take a look at the list of 21 we’ve put together below.
1. Seeking Therapy
A therapist takes on a new client. Everything seems normal to start, but over the course of their sessions, the client starts to hint at a dark and dangerous secret. The therapist becomes so obsessed with trying to find out the truth that their patient starts to haunt their life outside of the clinic. They start to see them in their dreams and even catch mistaken glimpses of them on the street, leading them to question their own sanity, too.
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2. Somebody’s Watching Me
Write from the perspective of someone who is being stalked, but the identity of the stalker is unknown. The victim’s paranoia escalates as they try to uncover the stalker’s identity while fearing for their life.
3. The Sanity Test
A group of strangers agrees to participate in a psychological experiment that promises a substantial reward. However, as the experiment unfolds, they realize they are trapped in a twisted game with no way out.
A family moves into a seemingly perfect suburban home, only to discover that it holds a dark and disturbing secret. As they explore the house’s mysteries, they start to question their own sanity as they start to turn on each other.
5. Reality Check
Write a story from the perspective of a protagonist who is slowly losing their grip on reality. As they question their own sanity, the line between what’s real and what’s imagined becomes increasingly blurred, leaving the reader to question what is actually happening and what is imagined.
6. The Doppelganger
A person begins to suspect that their identical twin, who has always been their closest confidant, may be impersonating them and slowly taking over their life. Is it paranoia or a chilling reality?
Explore the dark side of the internet as a character becomes entangled with an online persona who seems to know everything about their life. The line between the virtual world and reality blurs as what first seemed to be fun and games becomes increasingly sinister.
8. Howdy Neighbor!
A new neighbor moves into town. Adored by most of the street, one resident can’t help but feel that something is off about them. They decide to investigate, leading to a shocking revelation about the neighbor’s true identity, but now face the struggle of convincing the rest of the homeowners that the new neighbor isn’t as they seem.
9. A Nightmare Neverending
A character finds themselves trapped in a never-ending time loop, reliving a traumatic event over and over again. They must figure out how to break the cycle and prevent the event from happening.
10. The Whistleblower
A whistleblower uncovers a dark secret within a powerful multinational corporation. As they try to expose the truth, they find themselves hunted by the company’s ruthless “security” team and must rely on their wits to survive.
11. Family Values
A young woman who was adopted as a baby attempts to find her birth family. Little does she know that she was adopted as part of a witness protection program and the people she was being protected from were her parents.
12. Your Virtual Nightmare
In a future where virtual reality is indistinguishable from reality, a character becomes trapped in a VR simulation designed to torment them. They must decipher the clues within the simulation to find a way back to the real world and figure out who has put them there.
13. The Rose-Tinted Mirror
A person discovers a mirror that shows them a reflection of themselves living a different life that seems perfect in every way imaginable. They become obsessed with this alternate version of themselves, leading to a series of eerie and unsettling events as they try to make the images in the mirror a reality.
14. Not so Nice to See You Again
An old childhood friend reappears in a character’s life after years of absence. All seems to be going well as the pair reunite, almost as if they had never left. However soon their friend’s intentions seem sinister, and they bring a dark secret from the past that threatens to destroy everything.
15. Neighborhood Watch
A child goes missing in a small, tight-knit community, and a parent becomes convinced that their neighbors are hiding the truth. As they investigate, they uncover a web of secrets that shatters their trust in those closest to them as they start to see the ugly side of the town in all its glory.
A person starts experiencing episodes of sleepwalking and waking up in strange, dangerous locations with no memory of how they got there. They must uncover the truth behind their nighttime wanderings, especially when after one night they wake up covered in blood.
17. The Interpretation of Dreams
A character experiences a recurring nightmare that becomes increasingly vivid and disturbing, with hallucinations starting to creep into their waking hours. They must investigate the dream’s origins and uncover the hidden trauma that fuels it before it consumes their sanity.
18. Stay Tuned
A podcaster specializing in the world of conspiracy theories and urban myths begins to unravel a dangerous and very real conspiracy that threatens their life. As they dig deeper, they become the target of powerful forces determined to silence them.
19. Just a Business Call
A well-respected CEO starts receiving eerie and threatening phone calls from an unknown caller who seems to know their every move. As the calls escalate, they must uncover the identity of the caller and the reason behind the torment.
20. A Dangerous Affair
A woman becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and so she decides to keep track of his every move. Little does she realize that he is not having an affair, and instead what he is embroiled in is much more sinister. Being caught snooping could spell death for them both. How does she maintain a sense of normalcy in her marriage yet also try to find a way to keep both her and her husband safe?
21. A True Superhero?
After surviving a life-threatening event, a man becomes convinced that he has supernatural powers. His actions begin to become increasingly worrying as he undertakes various stunts to show his supposed abilities. However, his ability to survive and overcome the dangerous things he puts himself through starts to have some people believing that there may be some truth behind his claims.