Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from seeking something related to his age. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on aging.
Man vs. nature
Our protagonist, now retired, decides to move back to the place of his childhood and renovate an old residence that nature is quickly reclaiming. As he struggles against the damage that Mother Nature has wrought (pipes broken from overgrown roots, weeds, rotted roof that leaks, etc.), how does he come to terms with his own aging, which is ravaging his once virile body?
Man vs. man
The main character, near the end of his life, is on the verge of achieving his life-long dream – but one person, a life-long nemesis – stands in his way. How does the main character overcome his nemesis? What is the dream our main character seeks (perhaps it is a metaphor for some idea or concept)? Why does he believe achievement of this dream matters more than anything else?
Man vs. society
A man who is an expert on a problem society faces is brought of retirement to advise a force sent to cope with this challenge – but the way he conducts himself clashes with the unit of young men who, focused on the present, know too little of the past and who he really is. How does he overcome ageism and advise – and maybe eventually lead – the force to victory?
Man vs. himself
Our main character finds that an old flame from his younger days wants to rekindle their relationship, despite that he has built a life with another woman and has children. What would compel him to consider experiencing this love from his past? What happens if he dips into this forbidden love only to have the undertow pull him in?