10 “Unsung Heroes” Writing Prompts

This post will appear in Monday Motivation November 19 at Christian Editing Services, but I thought I’d give you a sneak peek.

Last week we paid particular attention to servicemen and women, past and present, which we should do on an ongoing basis—not just once a year.

Today, I’d like to draw your attention to another kind of hero. They’re everywhere. You probably know several personally; you may even be one.

Just what kind of a hero are we talking about?

Almost every morning when I arrive at work—between 7:30 and 7:45—there is already someone here . . . two someone’s, actually. There is a gracious older couple who attends our church who have taken it on themselves to tidy up—inside and out—on a regular basis. They expect no accolades or special mention. They do it as an act of service.

Those are the kinds of heroes I’d like to focus on this week. While they won’t be the subject of epic poems or the main characters in best selling novels, they are crucial to our lives and to our writing.

Here are some writing prompts based on the idea of The Unsung Hero:

1. Write a scene from a skit/play/screenplay that features one or more supporting actors (aka unsung heroes).

2. Write and send a thank you to one of the unsung heroes in your life.

3. Describe the physical characteristics of your main character, the hero/heroine . . . or one from a favorite TV show or movie.

4. Now, describe the physical characteristics of a “secondary” character.

5. Write a scene in which their characteristics are reversed. The protagonist can still shine and the unsung hero can still play a less prominent role, but it will take some real thinking to pull it off.

6. Snatch a biography or autobiography from your bookshelf—or borrow one from the library. Read the book or at least a few chapters. Would you characterize the main character as a hero in the classic sense of the word? If not, what makes this individual interesting enough to be the subject of a book?

7. Research unsung heroes online. Write a one-page piece about an interesting individual or group of people you come across.

8. Write an over-the-top caricature about an unsung hero.

9. Image yourself as a “real” hero. Write a journal entry after a particularly exciting day.

10. Image yourself as an unsung hero. Write a journal entry after a typical day.

If these prompts inspire your writing, I’d love it if you’d shared an excerpt with us. 


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