Four Great Writing Prompts: Escape

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise upon achieving his dreams. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on the motivation of dreams.

Man vs. nature
In a test of human endurance, your main character must escape the antagonist by crossing an inhospitable terrain. To give the story depth, what if the hero became a fallen figure when he joined the antagonist, but during the escape regains his true north while the final, climatic obstacle serves as a purifying moment for him?

Man vs. man
What if to escape a metaphorical prison our protagonist decides to pull a switcheroo with another inmate…only or the other inmate to realize what’s planned and attempt to foil him? With modern technology, this story may need to be told as historical fiction, though with technological advancements, it may make a great science fiction story as well.

Man vs. society
A man hacks into a secret government server but doesn’t think he finds anything interesting. Soon, however, mysterious people begin question him about a topic he knows nothing of and then a chase is on to capture him for apparently spreading information about it. Can he determine what important information that he missed during the hack while avoiding capture?

Man vs. himself
After escaping a terrifying situation (for example, a kidnapping, a hostage situation, a war-torn country), your protagonist must deal with the traumatic experience. Is the place he has escaped to any more safe than the situation that he left? Is dealing with the trauma of the experience and the loss of euphoria following the escape just as horrifying?