Four writing prompts: Uncertainty

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from something one cannot be completely confident or sure of. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on uncertainty.

Man vs. man
The main character must determine if someone he loves truly shares the same feelings for him or is just manipulating him. What clues does he have of manipulation? Why would someone want to manipulate him (and what is at stake if he is)? How does he go about determining his beloved’s true intentions?

Man vs. society
What if a man were told that the body of his father – who has been missing for some time – has been found? How does the man deal with this new information? What if the man suspects that the body really isn’t that of his father – but when he tries to find the truth, there are forces that don’t want him to know? What secret are they keeping, how does his father play a part in them, and how did presenting a body they say is his help hide the truth?

Man vs. God(s)
What happens when our protagonist meets someone of a different theological persuasion, perhaps one that he even finds repulsive? What if this person then saves the protagonist’s life? How does the protagonist question his own theological beliefs, and how does he rectify them given all that has occurred with “the enemy”?

Man vs. himself
The main character’s loved one has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but our protagonist can’t afford it. How does he cope with this inability? What steps does he take to find the money for this opportunity? Will these steps include breaking ethical rules and principles that the main character always has lived by and this his loved one admires in him?


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.