Four writing prompts: Isolation

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise when a person no longer wants to be separated from someone or others. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on the fear of isolation.

Man vs. nature
A disaster leaves the main character stranded a long way from civilization. With little hope of rescue, he decides living alone and isolated is worth the risk of a perilous journey back to where he came. How does he succeed at overcoming the challenges nature throws at him?

Man vs. man
What if two people fall for each other but when the other isn’t ready for a relationship? How do they maintain their “friendship” though all of this? What do they learn about themselves from their series of near-misses? What motivates them to keep trying over and over? Can they ever come together into a relationship by story’s end?

Man vs. society
A man loses his job (or perhaps his wife leaves him), but to avoid his neighbors’ shunning, begins a charade that he is still employed (or that the wife is still living there). Why does he believe his neighbors would shun him? What is others begin to suspect he’s lying? Does he ever reveal the truth about his situation?

Man vs. himself
What if our main character, who fears being isolated and alone, keeps getting himself into toxic relationships in which his self-worth actually is diminished? How does he come to feel even more isolated and alone in these relationships? How will he come to realize that true freedom, personal value, and love will come only when he lets go of his fear of being alone?


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.