Four writing prompts: Dreams

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise upon achieving his dreams. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on the motivation of dreams.

Man vs. nature
Our main character, an average bloke, resolves to achieve some great physical feat, perhaps of climbing a mountain. What motivates him to actually fulfill this dream? Why does he dream of accomplishing this specific dream? What obstacles does he face in actually fulfilling this dream or as making the climb?

Man vs. man
The protagonist faces a difficult decision: Should he help make happy the person he most loves by breaking his own heart? Why does our protagonist loves this person? How does he try to get this person to be happy without breaking his heart?

Man vs. society
What if our main character learns that to achieve his dream, he must despoil something? Why would he care about this something? How do others in his corporation/military unit/family encourage him to pursue his dream despite this despoiling? How does our main character come to decide his dream is not worth the price?

Man vs. himself
What if the main character, who has the opportunity to realize her dream of going someplace or holding a certain position, must leave behind her fragile mother or father to do so? Which would he choose and what would be the thoughts he’d have along the way in making this decision?


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.