Four writing prompts: Removal

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from the need to remove some danger or threat. Here are four writing prompts for stories that involve the goal of removal.

Man vs. nature
What if your main character were sent to capture or destroy some beast in the wilderness – a challenging task for sure, yet one he is well-suited for handling – but the creature turns out to be something more terrifying and powerful than he initially was led to believe? How does he defeat this beast? To make this more than a run-of-the-mill science fiction or fantasy tale, can the beast symbolize some element of society that our hero must metaphorically tame and subjugate?

Man vs. man
The main character needs to get rid of someone, such as an unwanted roommate or an annoying coworker. What is the motivation for doing this? How does he achieve this goal despite his opponent’s efforts to thwart him?

Man vs. society
Your main character needs to get rid of a new company/venture that has come to town or perhaps to unveil the unjust actions of a prominent family in town – both are popular with the locales, however. Why does he want to get rid of this new business/respected family? How does he change the minds of the townsfolk?

Man vs. himself
To fill his inner emptiness, our main character engages in a life of decadence – parties, alcohol or drugs, indiscriminate sex – and with increasing speed it’s spinning out of control. Our main character begins to sense this but finds the distraction at least a temporary relief. How does he regain control of his life and address the inner emptiness that actually even further consumes him, as he falls deeper into the pit of decadence? Can he even remove himself from it?