Four Writing Prompts: Tracked Down

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise when tracking another or when being tracked. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on the plot of being tracked down.

Man vs. nature
Your main character is hired to capture some creature – a dangerous escaped animal, a monster of some sort, a beast on an alien planet. How does the main character go about capturing this creature? Elevate the power of this story by having the main character discover something about the creature that leads him to believe it should not be captured.

Man vs. man
The main character is hired to capture someone – a man wanted for a crime, an escaped convict, someone who holds a dark secret. How does our main character go about finding this person? What lessons about himself does the main character learn as he fails through the story’s rising action to capture the person?

Man vs. society
Turn the man vs. man conflict around: What if your main character is wanted by law enforcement or an intelligence agency? How does he avoid being caught by that organization? What does he learn about himself as the organization closes on his capture?

Man vs. himself
What if your main character, whose job is to track down someone, uncovers clues about the hunted that leads him to doubt his assignment? Focus on his internal struggle to rectify his assignment against his morals and the truth.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.