4 Great Writing Prompts: Grief

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. man
Twin sisters take entirely different courses in life – one of them, the victim of an assault as a teenager, falls into depression and drugs while the other moves on to a college and a successful career. The successful twin, grieving over the suffering of her sister, tries to help. Will she be successful or meet true failure for the first time in her life?

Man vs. society
To deal with the death of a loved one (parent, offspring, spouse, etc.), the protagonist finds himself immersing in a hobby that his family and colleagues find odd. They even attempt to dissuade him to give it up and get back to being who he was. Why can’t he be the person he once was, though, and how does this new hobby metaphorically allow him to make peace with the one he lost and with the universe?

Man vs. God(s)
What if a widower feels deep anger at God following the loss of his spouse, who was his best friend, lover and partner for decades? How does he reconcile his faith?

Man vs. himself
How does a young person internally deal with the passing of a loved one – say a parent to cancer or a car accident? Feeling a great loss in his life, as if a line cut in a safe harbor, how does he keep himself moored rather than drift alone into a vast, empty ocean of grief? Will he find that he must drift a little before coming back to shore?


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.