Spy Writing Prompts and Story Ideas (Updated in 2024)

spy writing prompts

Looking for enticing spy story ideas and writing prompts? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for prompts like a spy who’s brainwashed into living a normal person’s life by her husband, or a fashion designer who sews recording devices onto her clients’ bespoke garments!

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Spy Fiction

Spy fiction, a fiction genre involving espionage as a key setting or plot device, first emerged in the early twentieth century, inspired by rivalries and conspiracies among major powers in the world and the creation of various intelligence organizations.

Fascism and communism in the lead-up to World War II gave the genre a momentum that continued to develop during the Cold War. The emergence of various threats to Western societies such as rogue states, international criminal organizations, global terrorist networks, maritime piracy and technological sabotage and espionage continued supplying the genre with inspirations.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Carré and The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum are a few famous works in the genre.

Spy Writing Prompts

Are you amped up already to write some intriguing spy novel? Dive in for some original spy writing story ideas!

I hope the ideas below are original. However, undoubtedly with the popularity of this trope, something similar could have existed out there already. But sometimes the smallest details matter, and make all the difference!

Please note that the genders in these starters are just placeholders and are not meant to enforce any hurtful stereotypes nor offend anyone.

Intriguing Spy Fiction Prompts

Here are some compelling spy story ideas that will bend and tickle the mind.

1. Following a horse-riding accident, a tired housewife begins having flashbacks of memories from her past life. Convinced that she’s actually an undercover spy, brainwashed into living a normal person’s life by the man who is none other than her husband, she must unveil the mystery before the clock runs out.

2. A housewife, recruited into the world of espionage after her twin sister’s death, must take on her sister’s unfinished mission despite having no prior espionage training.

spy writing prompts and story ideas

3. Driven by revenge for her late father’s death, a budding spy uncovers a shocking truth that her father is alive and at the heart of the organization she’s investigating.

4. A stewardess finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue when her secret lover, a pilot and covert spy, is assassinated. As the only witness to the crime, she reluctantly takes on his unfinished mission.

5. A skilled operative seamlessly infiltrates the organization they are assigned to spy on so masterfully that they earn the esteemed position of becoming the godfather or godmother to the newborn child of the organization’s enigmatic leader.

6. During the height of Cold War, an intel leaks out that the key to winning the war is something known only as its code name, White Horse. What could it be?

7. A prompt idea based on the picture below.

An agent’s mission is to guard a genius kid, the brain behind the creation of a stealthy transportation device that could just be the key for the country’s victory in a war. Meanwhile, what if someone closest to the kid turns out to be a spy working for the other side of the war?

(Please click on the image for more information about it.)

Spy Romance Prompts

Infusing some romance into any genre is going to bring you a wider readership. Hence, why not do that with a spy fiction? Here are some spy romance prompts and story ideas!

1. A renowned fashion designer doubles as a spy, discreetly attaching recording devices to her high-profile clients’ garments. And now she must face retaliation when one client uncovers her secret.

spy writing prompts and story ideas

2. The determined wife of a disgraced former spy embarks on a relentless quest to restore the husband’s tarnished reputation with the help of her husband’s loyal former partner.

3. A spy with a rare ability to see glimpses of the future is assigned to protect a high-profile target. But when their visions start featuring the target in intimate and romantic scenarios, they must confront the line between premonition and personal desire.

4. A spy assigned to kill a royal ends up falling in love with them. Caught between duty and newfound emotions, the spy grapples with conflicting loyalties, torn between the original mission and the unexpected love that has taken root.

FROM: Not Your Usual Royalty Story Ideas (2023)

5. Assigned to a covert operation on a stormy night, a spy discovers that their target is an enigmatic figure who only emerges during rainy weather. As they unravel the secrets behind this peculiar behavior, they realize that the rain holds the key to a much larger conspiracy.

6. A prompt idea based on the picture below.

A woman’s disappearance perplexes her entire family. Little do they know, she is the mastermind orchestrating her own disappearance and, adopting a new identity to infiltrate the mafia syndicate responsible for bankrupting her family.

Wacky Spy Prompts

These wacky prompts are perfect for students or the kids at home to get their creative juices flowing. Alternatively, you can also use them to spice up an otherwise serious narrative for some comedic relief! Here are some funny and out of the box prompts and story ideas.

1. Write about a spy with no remarkable skills because they’re not a techie, not a disguise expert, not a language expert, not a skilled combat fighter or marksman. Their only skill is their good sense of fashion.

2. A teenage spy is grounded by their mother, forcing the mother to take on their child’s assignment to prevent catastrophic consequences.

spy writing prompts and story ideas

3. A British spy attempts to blackmail an American spy to get the latter to supply the former with precious intel. Unbeknownst to the British spy, the American spy also has a dirty secret of the former, putting them at an impasse.

4. An ennui-ridden man thinks his life is boring, until one day, when he’s sitting at a park bench alone, a voice from the nearest surveillance camera says, “We don’t normally recruit people this way, but we have a mission for you.”

5. An undercover spy learns golfing for a covert mission but becomes so good at it and gains worldwide fame, which threatens the longevity of their real career.

6. Due to a mixed-up apartment contract, an undercover spy must share an apartment with three nosey roommates, which might just be the thing that spoils her cover-up. And she couldn’t just get another apartment because this one is right beneath the target’s apartment!


I hope the spy writing story ideas above spark some imagination in you. 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!

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