Four writing prompts: Memory

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from some past event that can’t be shaken from one’s mind. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on memory.

Man vs. man
What if the main character’s memory of a lost spouse or lover drives a wedge between himself and a new woman in his life, a woman who loves him very much? How does their relationship unravel because of this? Can it be sewed back up?

Man vs. society
To avenge a great wrong, the protagonist must make a deal with the devil and commit some atrocious act himself (perhaps for information or materials so the revenge can be carried out). Can the protagonist fake the atrocious act or will he decide the price for silencing the memories torturing him is too great?

Man vs. God(s)
What is a man is asked to explain why he has no remorse for a terrible crime he committed? Would the evolution of how he lost his sense of guilt and regret involve losing his faith? As he recalls what occurred, weave between these two developments in his view of life.

Man vs. himself
Our main character wakes up and realizes he doesn’t know who he is or where he’s from. He does sense that someone is after him, though. How does he figure out who he is? Who is after him and for what person? How did he lose his memory? And how doe she triumph over the person who’s after 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.