Are you writing a parallel universe novel? Are you stuck for ideas? If so, we’ve included a list of 20 parallel universe writing prompts to give you some inspiration below.
1. The Man in the Mirror
What happens when you realize that your reflection isn’t just a copy of you, but is actually a real person, living in a world that is the mirror image of your own? This leaves you lots of room to explore both worlds, the character’s sense of self, but also how a world might look when it is slightly flipped.
2. Role Reversal
What would happen if your character were to enter a world in which roles were reversed? It could be that humans are kept as pets by animals, that women reign supreme over men, or perhaps where what would be traditionally considered ugly is indeed beautiful.
3. One Moment in Time
Imagine being caught in your own time loop, to relive one moment over and over rather than progressing with the rest of the world. It could be that a character has to relive their death over and over, or perhaps learn to correct a critical mistake either within the situation or within themselves.
4. Meet Your Best Self
Do you ever imagine what you would be like if everything turned out right? Consider your character meeting the best version of themselves from a parallel universe. Is everything really as rosy as it seems?
5. Meet Your Worst Self
Conversely, your character could meet a version of themself that is at rock bottom. Will they take pity on this version of themselves and help them, or will it be a stark learning experience about where their life might be headed if they don’t change?
6. Earth and Sea
Consider a parallel universe in which the landmasses and the sea have been switched. How would people here live? Would there be enough water for everyone? What challenges might they face?
7. Back to Reality
In the future, people have taken to uploading themselves into an alternate online existence where they can live freely and without the constraints placed upon them by their physical bodies. How do they navigate both worlds and what happens when the virtual world begins to slip into reality?
8. One Heck of a Trip
Your friends urge you to try this new hallucinogenic drug at a party. Most people just see more colors or weird visions, but when you try you end up seeing an entirely different world overlapping your own.
9. The Colors of the Rainbow
Humans can only see a certain amount of colors. What would happen if a character could see all of them? What world would await them that had been invisible to the naked eye? What amazing things, or hidden dangers have we been living amongst for so long?
10. Down the Rabbit Hole
Take a leaf out of Lewis Carroll’s book and have your character tumble into an adventure in another world. Of course, you don’t have to use a rabbit hole, and the world on the other side is up to you! Have fun with it!
11. Delete the Discrepancies
Your character works for a multiversal agency that is designed to make sure that none of the parallel universes ever cross. Their job is to eliminate any threats to the peace, but what happens when that threat is just a small child?
12. Life Made Miniature
There are many things so small that we cannot see them with the naked eye. What happens if there is an entirely new civilization as advanced as our own, that is so small that we don’t even know it is there? That is until your character finds out.
13. Dreams Come True
What if when we dream, we’re not actually imagining new worlds, but being transported to an actual parallel universe? How do we learn to control our dreams, and how do we stop things from the dream world from escaping into our own?
14. Multidimensional Refugees
We all know we have a finite amount of time before the sun implodes and begins to swallow up the galaxy. Instead of trying to find a new home in this dimension, instead, humankind forges a new path into a different one. But, how will the inhabitants of this parallel universe react to the new arrivals?
15. Life is but a Stage
Does it sometimes feel like someone else is controlling your life as if you are some sort of character? What if this was true, and in fact your story was being written out by another? Then, what would you do if you get a chance to become an author yourself?
16. Life in Your Shoes
A portal opens up between two parallel universes, and from it comes the alternate version of yourself. Both of you are frustrated with your current lives and agree to swap places for a week to see what it is like in the other world. But, when the time comes, will either side be willing to swap back?
17. The Grand Exhibit
Humankind finds out that their universe is actually an exhibit in an alien museum. When the exhibit is due to be put in the archive and scrapped, what will they do about it?
18. Finding the Cure
Scientists manage to create a link between our world and another parallel universe. Both worlds are remarkably similar, but the first explorers end up bringing back with them a deadly disease the likes this world has never seen. Who will go back and risk infection to find the cure?
19. A Magical Transformation
While exploring the ruins of an old castle, a group of children find a portal to a magical realm. However, once they enter they find that they too have changed to fit this new world and become magical creatures themselves. Will they be able to go back, and will they turn back to normal again?
20. Long Lost Lovers
What would you do if you traveled to an alternate universe where your long-dead spouse was still alive? Would you try to win them back, even though they believe you died in the same accident that killed them in your world?