Four writing prompts: Loss

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from regaining a feeling that existed when someone leaves or goes missing. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on loss.

Man vs. nature
During an expedition, a calamity occurs, cutting off our main character from most of his party. How does he survive and overcome the challenges of nature as trying to reunite with the main group?

Man vs. man
What if our main character has taken care of someone special (perhaps a foster child, an orphan, etc.) for a period of time and one day a person comes along to claim that special someone? How does our main character stop this new person from taking that special someone?

Man vs. society
Our main character finds he suffers from a spiritual emptiness that broader society seems to encourage because of its declining ethical behavior. In a decadent society, how does he lead a life based on his deeply-held moral values?

Man vs. himself
The protagonist is in a healing profession – probably psychology – but despite his success with others finds that he is unable to heal his own broken heart. What is needed for him to heal (Perhaps the one patient he seems unable to help?)?


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.