Four writing prompts: Loneliness

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from seeking a connection with others. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on loneliness.

Man vs. nature
What if a man is stranded by himself on an island, in the deep jungle, or on an alien planet? How does he survive the unforgiving environment only to find his greatest challenge may be his own loneliness?

Man vs. society
Our main character constantly senses he is different from others, and his leads to deep feelings of loneliness. What happens when he tries to determine why he is different – is there some great secret about him ( or about human existence) that can be revealed?

Man vs. God(s)
What if the main character is driven by a loneliness that money can’t salve? Why is he resistant to embracing the spiritual? How does he ultimately decide to at least explore the spiritual (and find that it at least partially alleviates loneliness)?

Man vs. himself
The protagonist is helping a woman raise her child (which is not his). One day, his true love from the past returns. What arguments go through his head for staying and for taking off with his old love? Perhaps the protagonist feels that he’s always been the one who gives but never receives or makes a decisions that are for himself. What decision does he make?


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.