No matter what side of the line you’re on, if you’ve got gangs in your books (or if you’d like to), then sometimes you need story prompts. You might need ideas for what the gang might try to smuggle, steal, or coerce people into doing.
All the prompts I’ve got on this list are geared toward books that are written from the gangster’s POV, but those should be pretty easy to spin around to serve you as a crime fighter!
All the prompts below are free to use however you please (except for using them to commit actual crimes), and, as always, I’d love to see those stories on Inklings Fiction!
- Your gang is planning on breaking into a local art museum. You know most of the stuff is trash, but there are three items that are being stored there for another museum. You and your team are about to “liberate” them of these goods.
- You’re planning a hit on a local gold mine. More specifically, you’re going to hit their shipment as they go to deliver their raw ore to their refiner. The shippers are well-armed, but you’ve got the manpower and guns that this shouldn’t be an issue.
- You’re a smuggler and you pride yourself in doing it the old-fashioned way. You own your own freighter and you’ve built smuggler hatches all over. You’re smart enough to avoid taking your contraband into port, you dump it overboard and leave a small GPS buoy that floats just beneath the waves and you’ll fetch it once you’ve been ashore a few days. You’ve got the perfect operation.
- You’re smuggling gold bars out of the country for the political elite who are doing their best to sneak out their illicit gains to their “life raft” estate in another country. You’re smuggling this gold inside of fishing weights of all things.
- Having just disposed of the body of someone your boss just killed, you get stopped by the police. You’ve got dirt all over you and you’ve got the shovel in the trunk. You’ve also got a gun at your side.
- You run a small gang and you smuggle goods across the US. You use trains to do so. You tag (spray paint) the train cars that you’ve hidden the goods you are smuggling on so your people on the other side of the US know where to look.
- No one ever expects an old woman to be a killer. That’s a fact you capitalize upon. You’re only 40, but because of a hard life and a few accidents, you look 60. You’ve got a success rate of 85% on your hits. Your primary method of killing is poisons, but you branch out every now and then. Today, you’ve been tasked with killing a businessman who sells cheese of all things. You don’t ask questions though. You’ve decided to kill him at his adult daughter’s birthday party at a local restaurant, you’ve got just the poison to slip into his drink as you pretend to ask him where the bathrooms are.
- You run a small-time gang in the Western US where you steal plants and critters that are endangered or rare to resell on the black market. You usually hit national parks and you dress up like parkland workers to elude suspicion. One day, you get caught transporting a large truckload of those stolen goods and the officers seem to know a lot more than they’re letting on.
- You work with a team of criminals who see themselves as artists. Why? Because they made an art of crime. They’re known for impersonating millionaires and politicians and then draining those individual’s bank accounts. They go the whole way, same outfits, perfect masks, same perfumes, same mannerisms and walks. Today, you’re going to drain the biggest account of the biggest target you’ve ever hit.
- You sneak out of town every night and gather your crew to work an abandoned mine that the government sealed off. You’re mining illegally and you deal with some shady folk in order to sell your ore. But you aren’t dumb, you’ve got enough firepower to start a small war.
- You’re smuggling drugs, cocaine, to be exact. You’ve tried other drugs, but nothing sells like coke. You’ve recently found a way to make paper with the cocaine inside it and you separate the two once you make the delivery.
- You’re running a simple operation where people hire hitmen. Most of the time the targets are taken out for 500 to 5000 dollars. One day, you’re hired to knock the governor’s wife for several times more than that. You have strong reason to believe he’s the one who called the hit. Do you go through with it or do you cash in and blackmail him about it?
- You’re a cow thief and you work a large swath of the Western US. People just leave their cows waiting for you, it seems. Every night, you find a hapless rancher and you load up a few truckloads of his cattle every time you find a herd that doesn’t have any hands nearby. But that isn’t to say you wouldn’t take on a few people if there were enough heads to be had.
- You never thought you’d do it, but you’ve begun working for the gangs. You ended up getting forced to do so when they threatened to rat you out to the police for what you do for a living. You forge the artwork of mid-level famous artists, the ones people don’t hire the best to check out and confirm the legitimacy of pieces of. Problem is, the gang is now telling you to imitate Picasso and you’re not sure if you can deliver.
- You run a nice scheme where you have a retirement home for the elderly. Problem is, 90% of your “residents” are either dead or fictional. You’re simply cashing in on all of their Social Security checks and pensions. One day, a new resident comes in and you discover that he’s a retired detective.
- You’re an art smuggler and you’ve found the perfect way to smuggle stolen paintings. You paint over them with a paint that’s easy to remove once you get to where you need to go.
- You’ve trained pigeons, among quite a few other avians and rodents, to smuggle goods for you across the border. You’ve never smuggled drugs, you think you’re too good for that. Instead, you smuggle messages for various government agencies who are somehow unable to get those same messages out themselves.
- You’ve been preparing for this moment for the last three years. You’ve done everything right. You’ve got the perfect setup. You are about to rob a famous art museum for every single art piece that they’ve got. What’s your plan? You’re the contractor who is supposed to be retrofitting their security systems. You’re doing it with a company that you set up three years back and have been hoping for an opportunity just like this.
- You have a group of kids working for you hacking various companies and government agencies. You have some ransomware and you occasionally branch out and do other things too to flaunt your power. You keep control of the kids by threatening their families. You’ve recently allied yourself with a group of gunmen who want to rob a gold bank. Your job is to knock out the security of the bank and all the surrounding buildings.