Looking for mind-bending dark romance story ideas and writing prompts or dark writing prompts to spark the imagination? You’ve come to the right place!
Read on for ideas like the last fertile man on Earth who’s being passed around from one woman to another, to a tattoo artist who keeps his muse captive!
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Dark Romance Genre
Dark romance is a subgenre of romance with a dark undertone, featuring controversial themes and characters with dubious morals and backgrounds and focusing on a romantic relationship that may seem twisted to the conventional people.
Considered by some as a way to explore taboo fantasies, dark romance generally involves themes of kidnapping, psychological and/or physical abuse, rape, and dubious consent, among others, allowing the readers to explore the darker sides of their psyches vicariously through the lives of the characters in the story.
In order to fit into the “romance” genre, dark romance must end in either a happy-for-now ending, or a happily-ever-after ending. However, considering the dark undertone of the subgenre. the latter tends to be a rare occurrence.
Dark romance is not to be confused with erotica. While the latter focuses mostly on the character’s (or characters’) sexual discovery (or discoveries), the former focuses more on the romantic relationship, however twisted it is, between the characters.
Dark Romance Writing Prompts
Without further ado, below are some enticing writing prompts!
Please note that the genders in these starters are just placeholders and do not mean to enforce any hurtful stereotypes nor offend anyone.
Here are some prompts exploring the themes of dub-con or dubious consent (referring to the gray area between rape and consent, especially when the balance of power makes it difficult for someone to meaningfully consent to sex.)
1. In a post-apocalyptical world where all the men have been stricken by infertilities, the last fertile man is being passed around from one woman to another for solely breeding purposes.
2. When a baker runs into a significant problems with the bank that might threaten the proclivity of her bakery, she had no choice but to turn to a mafia leader for help. The only problem? She’s been rejecting his advances for years. (Originally appeared in my post 14 Intriguing Mafia Romance Story Ideas.)
3. Mutual dub-con or non-con, where an underground taboo club drugs two non-consenting people with aphrodisiacs and charges people who watch the love consummation. How would you turn this into a romance story, despite its dark nature?
4. When a prima ballerina rejects a mob boss’ advances, it inspires him to buy the ballet company she works at, allowing him a more hands-on approach on the company. (Originally appeared in my post 14 Intriguing Mafia Romance Story Ideas.)
5. As a revenge for ruining his business, a man orchestrates his brother’s bankruptcy before swooping in to manipulate his wife and bedding her.
Kidnapping and Captivity
Here are some prompts exploring the themes of kidnapping and captivity. If you wonder how romance is able to bloom during such dire circumstances, do a light reading on Stockholm Syndrome and you’ll see!
1. Following a threat, a politician’s daughter is hidden in a safe house with a bodyguard alongside her to protect her. The twist? There was never really any real threat. It’s all a ruse by the bodyguard to whisk the politician’s daughter away because he’s smitten with her.
2. An assassin couldn’t kill his latest target because she reminds him of his long-lost love. He couldn’t let her go just like that because then the person who orders the hit would know that he doesn’t do his job. So he ends up dragging the unwilling woman with him cross-country as he finishes various hit orders.
3. In order to stay under the government’s radar, a gang leader kidnaps a physician to treat his injured lackeys instead of getting treatments at the hospital. However, he ends up so smitten that he refuses to let the doctor go after she’d done her job. (Originally appeared in my post Intriguing Mafia Romance Story Ideas.)
4. Fueled by revenge, an underground fighter befriends the daughter of the fight club owner who fired him before luring her into his house and keeping her captive in his basement.
5. A ski instructor is so smitten with one of his student that he plans a lesson just before a vicious snowstorm strikes, in order to trap the woman with him up in his mountain lodge. (Originally appeared in my post Engrossing Serial Killer Story Ideas.)
6. A picture prompt based on the picture below. A gang leader kidnaps a politician whose oncoming political agenda might threaten the future of his business. But neither of them expects that romance will bloom amidst the hatred and political intrigues.
(Please click on the image for more information about it.)
Here are some prompts exploring various other themes such as serial killer, gaslighting, violent non-consensual fantasy, manipulation, degradation, and light body modification.
1. Serial killer and gender-flipped One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. The heirs of two neighboring kingdoms are betrothed to marry one another for peace. But all the princess’ past husbands, somehow, turned up dead a day after the wedding ceremony. This time, will history repeat itself for the fourth time?
2. A plastic surgeon gaslights and manipulates a young socialite.
3. When a group of friends go to a Halloween corn maze in all sorts of costumes and masks, a woman is separated from the group only to be found by another friend in the group. As the pair goes to explore the maze further, the woman realizes that the friend might not be who she thinks he is, since his voice is distorted by the mask. But will it be too late to realize it?
4. Afraid of losing his girlfriend, a man pokes holes at his condoms and replaces her birth control pills with placebo.
5. A medieval/period writing prompt: When the ruthless queen/king is finally dethroned by her/his trusted advisor, the latter plans to make the ex-queen/king his slave in more ways than one out of revenge for all the things she/he did to him.
6. A picture prompt based on the picture below. A tattoo artist is so smitten with his newest client that he keeps her captive and tattoos her entire body against her will. The twist is, she grows to enjoy it.
(Please click on the image for more information about it.)
7. For his birthday, a gang leader receives a gift from one of his rivals to curry a favor with him. The gift? A rising star singer. The rival knows that he has an obsession with the singer and decides to kidnap her to surprise him.
One last word of reminder is to keep the ending happy-for-now or happily-ever-after. Or else, some readers who expect “romance” out of dark romance might feel betrayed.
That’s all I have for now!
If you need more story ideas and prompts, please browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category!
Have any question or feedback? Feel free to contact me here. Until next time!