Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from the desire to try or learn something new. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on experimentation.
Man vs. nature
What if when undergoing an experiment to cure some terminal disease, the treatment has an unintended consquence? How does this physically and psychologically affect our protagonist? What if he seeks some way to overcome the consequence because he deems it being as bad as having the original disease?
Man vs. man
A man discovers he is part of a grand experiment that is kept secret from him and society at large. What is the experiment? Why does the man not want to be part of it and plans to escape from and makes public the experiment? What if another man is sent to kill our main character before he can? How does our hero outwit this antagonist and survive?
Man vs. society
What if an organization wants our main character to conduct an experiment that he believes is unethical? What is the experiment and the possible gains to be had from it? How does our main character try to avoid running the experiment?
Man vs. himself
A person bored with his life decides to experiment. While at first exhilarating, the need for ever-riskier experimentation leads him on a deep, downward spiral. How does the main character deceive himself that the experimentation is destroying his life? How does he find a way to reverse his course and bring excitement to his life without dangerous experimentation, or will his life end tragically?