Introduction: The Illusion of Matrimony in Fiction
In the vast landscape of storytelling, few relationships have as much built-in tension, complexity, and potential for both comedy and drama as that of the married couple. However, introducing a twist to this traditional bond opens a Pandora’s box of storytelling possibilities, and that’s precisely where the theme “Not Really Married” comes into play. This theme focuses on characters who, for various reasons, are believed to be wedded when, in actuality, they aren’t. It’s a narrative device that subverts expectations, plays with social conventions, and creates a fertile ground for unforeseen complications and character development.
Why use this theme? Firstly, the mistaken belief of marriage between characters can illuminate aspects of their personalities that otherwise wouldn’t be in the spotlight. How do they navigate the pretense? What facades do they maintain, and which ones crumble? This theme forces characters into close proximity, making for delightful tension, comedy, or deep emotional exploration.
The “Not Really Married” theme also opens up avenues for social commentary. By having characters grapple with societal expectations around matrimony, a writer can examine the weight and implications of these expectations. How does society treat married couples differently than singles? Why is marriage such a sought-after validation?
Consider the following ways to implement these prompts:
Short Stories: Each prompt can serve as a standalone short story. Dive deep into a singular concept and flesh it out.
Novel Starters: Want a bigger canvas? Take a prompt and envision it as the beginning of a longer tale.
Script Ideas: Think in scenes and dialogues? Translate a prompt into a screenplay for TV or film.
Character Development Exercises: Use a prompt to place your already developed characters into a new situation and see how they react.
Daily Writing Practice: Commit to writing one prompt a day. This can help hone your skills and maintain consistency.
Whichever way you choose to engage with these prompts, allow yourself to be surprised. After all, the very heart of this theme is the unexpected.
Not Really Married Writing Prompts
Characters believed to be wed aren’t actually married…
- Two celebrities fake a marriage for publicity, but end up entangled in unexpected personal drama.
- A couple who’ve been “married” for years discover their wedding officiant wasn’t licensed.
- Two strangers are mistaken for a married couple during a trip. They decide to keep up the charade.
- A woman fakes a wedding to inherit her family’s wealth. She didn’t expect the hired “groom” to be her lost love.
- An elderly pair reveals to their children they never officially tied the knot.
- While house-sitting, two friends pretend to be the homeowners—a married couple.
- A visa complication leads two coworkers to fake a marriage. Now, they must convince their families.
- Two actors are “married” in a movie and fans believe it’s real. Their personal relationships suffer.
- For a social experiment, strangers pretend to be wed, only to uncover real feelings.
- A detective discovers that a high-profile couple’s marriage certificate is a forgery.
- Two singles pretend to be married in order to buy a house in a couples-only community.
- A couple receives an invitation for a marriage reunion, but they never really got married.
- After a wild night in Vegas, two strangers mistakenly believe they’re married.
- To inherit her aunt’s estate, a woman must be married. She convinces a friend to pretend, leading to comical consequences.
- Two childhood friends fake a wedding to make an ex jealous.
- A theme park’s “Marry for a Day” event confuses a pair when their families believe it’s real.
- An undercover mission requires two agents to pose as a wedded couple.
- Two best friends pretend to be married to get a couples discount on a cruise.
- To get a job at a conservative firm, a woman claims her roommate is her husband.
- A mix-up at a hotel leads to two strangers being booked as a married couple.
- An old will stipulates the heirs must be married. Two friends hatch a scheme.
- To win a contest, a duo needs to send in their “wedding” video. Chaos ensues as they stage one.
- Two exes are mistakenly sent on a honeymoon trip meant for another couple.
- A man and woman fake a marriage to keep their parents off their backs. Now they’re stuck.
- Two people discover they’ve been living as a married couple due to a clerical error.
- Friends jokingly host a pretend wedding. Things get real when legal documents are accidentally filed.
- A fake marriage counseling session for a research project turns enlightening for two friends.
- A popular romance author is believed to be married to her anonymous cover model.
- Two teachers pretend to be wedded to secure a job at a prestigious couples-only academy.
- For a charity event, bidders can “buy” a fake spouse for a week. What could go wrong?
- Two actors find out that the play they’re rehearsing involves them playing a married couple.
- A matchmaking event pairs up singles pretending to be wedded to learn about marriage.
- A woman convinces her gay best friend to pretend to be her husband to appease her traditional family.
- For witness protection, two individuals must live as a married couple.
- During a historical reenactment, two participants are chosen to portray a famous wedded pair.
- On a dating show, contestants must act like they’re married to different partners every week.
- A man and woman, both escaping their past, pose as a married couple on a remote island.
- Two business rivals must pretend to be wedded to secure a crucial merger.
- To rent the perfect apartment, a duo must convince the landlord they’re newlyweds.
- In a futuristic world, couples are paired by the state for a trial marriage period.
- After a miscommunication, a town believes the new residents are husband and wife.
- Two travelers must pretend to be wed to get safe passage through a traditional village.
- A man hires an actress to pretend to be his wife for a family reunion.
- Two interns are mistakenly placed in the “Married Employees” department.
- A fake marriage staged for a music video becomes a national sensation.
- To qualify for a grant, two artists pretend their partnership is more than professional.
- A prince and a commoner fake a marriage to stabilize the kingdom.
- A memory loss leads a woman to believe she’s married to her best friend.
- Two strangers wake up with wedding bands and no memories of the previous night.
- In an era where marriage enhances social status, two friends fake it to ascend society’s ladder.
- During a carnival, two participants are picked for a “mock wedding” game.
- In an online game, two players pretend to be a married couple, but what about real life?
- A sci-fi story where a human and an alien must pose as wed to survive on a hostile planet.
- Two singles volunteer for a study on married life, living together for a year.
- A couple’s therapy retreat accidentally accepts two friends thinking they’re a married pair.
- A mysterious invitation calls for couples, so two strangers team up to uncover its secrets.
- Two writers fake a marriage to co-author a book on relationships.
- A billionaire’s will states his heir must be married. Cue the fake wedding!
- Two neighbors pretend to be wedded to win the “Cutest Couple” community award.
- A woman and her bodyguard must act married to hide from a looming threat.
- Two royals from different kingdoms pretend to be married to avoid a war.
- After a mistaken announcement, a company believes two employees just got hitched.
- A con artist convinces a stranger to pretend to be his wife for a scam.
- Two tourists are mistaken for honeymooners and get VIP treatment.
- In a world where you’re taxed less if married, two rebels fake it to protest the system.
- Two characters enter a “pretend married” competition for a cash prize.
- A magical spell makes everyone believe two friends are wed.
- A “Try Life Married” program pairs up two individuals for a month.
- A dare leads to two students faking a wedding.
- A couple is about to announce their engagement when everyone congratulates them on their “marriage”.
- At a high school reunion, two friends lie about being wed to seem successful.
- Two actors in a soap opera can’t escape their on-screen marriage off-set.
- During a group therapy session, two individuals are mistakenly assumed married.
- Two roommates pose as a wedded couple to adopt a pet from a couple-only shelter.
- An immigrant and a native pretend to be married to give the former citizenship.
- A charity event has a “Day as a Married Couple” auction.
- A world where simulated marriages are tested before they become official.
- Two teens pretend to be married to get their own place.
- An advice columnist and a skeptic pose as wed to write contrasting articles on marriage.
- Two single parents pretend to be married to give their kids a “whole” family experience.
- A dating app glitch pairs two users as a “married couple”.
- A CEO and a janitor pretend to be wedded to uncover corporate espionage.
- Two adventurers pretend to be married to join a couples-only treasure hunt.
- A therapist and a patient mistaken for a couple must navigate a couples retreat.
- During a bank heist, two hostages pretend to be wed to gain the robber’s trust.
- At a wedding expo, vendors assume two attendees are the bride and groom.
- Two aliens assume human forms and pretend to be wedded to study Earth’s marriage customs.
- To get a role in a movie, two actors lie about being a real-life couple.
- A mysterious old woman insists two strangers are a reincarnated wedded pair.
- Two spies pose as honeymooners to retrieve a stolen artifact.
- At a family gathering, a woman introduces her friend as her husband to stop the matchmaking.
- Two competitors in a cooking show are mistaken as a married duo.
- A ghost couple believes two living humans are their reincarnated selves.
- Two time-travelers must pretend to be married to fit into a past era.
- An AI and a human must act as a wedded pair to pass a societal test.
- Two seniors fake a wedding to tick it off their bucket list.
- In a post-apocalyptic world, a fake marriage offers protection and resources.
- Two singles are mistakenly sent to a married couples retreat.
- A resort offers a “Married Experience” package for singles.
- Two friends join a reality show where contestants think they’re a married couple.