13 Emotional writing prompts to pull at your heart strings

Pain makes you stronger, tears make you braver, and heartbreak makes you wiser. So thank the past for a better future. – Unknown

Pain and sorrow are one the most powerful emotions a human being can experience, alongside love and anger.

That being said, today I bring you thirteen emotional writing prompts to help you incorporate such sentiments into your writing.

1. All the light in the world wouldn’t drown her sorrows.

Things to consider…

  • Is the protagonist perceived to be a very strong character?
  • Is she good at hiding her emotions?
  • Does she feel ‘in control’ of her surroundings?
  • What is the chief cause of her pain? Does it originate from love, lust, family, or a traumatic past or disorienting present?

2. The life had left her eyes long ago.

Things to consider…

  • Is the protagonist depressed? If so is there one solid reason for her depression or is her mental illness a product of multiple triggers.
  • Does she have a romantic interest who can see the change in her behaviour?
  • How old is the protagonist?
  • Is she self-sufficient or does she require the aid of the people around her on a daily basis?
  • Does she have a stressful job? for example, is she a soldier or part of a law enforcement agency?

3. Perhaps in the end, he was meant to be alone.

Things to consider…

  • Has the protagonist suffered through a great familial loss?
  • Is he emotionally and mentally stable?
  • Does he have trust issues? Or does he open up to others easily?
  • Is he open to the idea of a love and romance?
  • Was there a great romantic tragedy that occurred in the past which is the cause for his pain?

4. He loved her with every fibre of his being, too bad she wasn’t real.

Things to consider…

  • What is the protagonist’s occupation?
  • Is he a very imaginative person?
  • Is he involved with anyone else? A spouse or a lover?
  • Who is the object of his affections?
  • Is the person he loves physically real and is he simply infatuated with a false identity of that person?

5. They were meant to be each other’s redemption. But in the end, all they achieved was mutual destruction.

Things to consider…

  • Who are the protagonists?
  • What kind of lifestyle do they lead?
  • Do they truly love each other? Or do they fall in and out of love constantly?
  • Talk about the day they met and the beginning of the relationship.
  • Are they romantically involved or simply companions?

6. “Please, don’t ever forget me…”

Things to consider…

  • Who is the speaker?
  • Is the protagonist well acquainted with them? Or is it one of those ‘spur of moment type of relationships?
  • Is the speaker ill? Are they being hospitalized or on the brink of death?
  •  How does the protagonist feel about their situation?
  • Is the protagonist the speaker?

7. The clock was ticking, and they still hadn’t found a cure.

Things to consider…

  • Is this ‘cure’ needed for a disease?
  • Is it being considered as an epidemic?
  • Who has been affected by the illness?
  • How much time is left?
  • Is it a high stress/high risk situation?

8. They knew that they were going die, yet they continued to march forward anyway.

Things to consider…

  • Who are they? Is it an army or a tactical team of some sort?
  • Where are they marching to? Who is the enemy?
  • What are their chances of success?
  • What are they fighting for?

9. She had been shattered beyond recognition, but he still loved her, broken pieces and all.

Things to consider…

  • Who or what was the cause of the protagonist’s pain?
  • Does she have a romantic interest?
  • How does she cope?
  • Is she emotionally distant?

10. Write about the morning after the day she died.

Things to consider…

  • Who is she?
  • Whose POV is the story taking place from?
  • How did she die? Was it accidental or intended?
  • How does the protagonist cope?
  • Try writing about the time a few months after the death

11. Her tears could fill an ocean, and yet she was still smiling.

Things to Consider…

  • Is the protagonist a mentally and emotionally sound character?
  • Are they perceived to be ‘very strong’?
  • Does the protagonist suffer from any sort of mental illness?
  • Do they have someone to depend upon?

12. “Maybe I deserve all of this,” he Whispered as they put a gun to his head.

Things to consider…

  • Who is the protagonist? Does he have a bad reputation? (i.e Criminal past, or is he too open-minded?)
  • Where does this take place? Is it in a small, close-knit community or a big bustling city?
  • Do ‘they kill him? If so, why do they do it?
  • Who are ‘they’?
  • Does the protagonist survive?
  • Does somebody intervene to save him?
  • Is the protagonist viewed as the ‘black sheep’ of the family? If so, why?

13. One bullet was cheaper than therapy. 

Things to consider…

  • Who is the protagonist?
  • If this is suicide, why are they considering ending their life?
  • Are they mentally ill? If not, what caused this sudden urge to die?
  • Do they go through with it?
  • Are they addicted to something?
  • Is there a romantic interest involved?
  • Is there an intervention to help them?
  • Who is the cause of their pain?

Alright then, those are thirteen of the most heartbreaking prompts I could think of at the moment.

Do let me know what you think and if any of you decide to use these in your stories, please do share them with me.

I’d be more than happy to make a post about your work here on the Paper Life (fully credited to you, of course).

Anyway, that’s all I have for you today and as always happy reading!

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