The Stolen Identity Theme: An Introduction
Identity shapes who we are, dictating how we navigate the world around us — from social interactions to legal obligations. It’s no wonder that the concept of stolen identity can make for a riveting, high-stakes narrative. When a character’s identity is pilfered, replaced, or manipulated, not only does it churn the plot into motion, it also lays bare intriguing questions about the nature of self, trust, and what it means to truly know someone. This theme opens up vast landscapes of conflict, emotion, and moral dilemma, providing an abundant source of material for writers to explore.
Our list of writing prompts centering on stolen identity can be a valuable resource for writers. So, how can you make the most of these prompts?
Genre-Bending Experiment: If you’re usually focused on one genre, try selecting a prompt from a genre you’re less familiar with. If you typically write romance, for example, a foray into a thriller or sci-fi prompt about identity theft could invigorate your creativity.
Character Development Exercise: Use these prompts to flesh out your characters. Take your protagonist, or even a secondary character, and place them in one of these identity-theft scenarios to see how they react. It can offer valuable insights into their psyche and make them more three-dimensional in your main work.
Writing Sprints: Challenge yourself with timed writing sprints using these prompts. Set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes and write non-stop. This is not only a good exercise to improve your writing speed but also helps to unlock your subconscious creativity.
Serialized Stories: Choose a prompt and expand it into a series of short stories or chapters. Each prompt can be a different episode focusing on the ramifications of identity theft on your characters’ lives.
Collaborative Writing: Team up with another writer. Choose one prompt, and each of you writes your own version of the story. Afterwards, compare notes. This can be a revealing way to understand different artistic approaches to the same fundamental theme.
Dialogue Practice: Use the scenarios to practice writing dialogues. Identity theft often involves confrontations or investigative discussions, offering a great opportunity to sharpen your skills in writing realistic, tension-filled dialogues.
Social Commentary: Many prompts can serve as a starting point for social or ethical discussions. After writing your story, add an analysis or reflection on what your narrative says about identity in today’s society.
Whether you’re a seasoned writer looking for fresh inspiration, or a novice eager to explore, these prompts offer a landscape rich with possibilities.
Stolen Identity Writing Prompts
A character’s identity is stolen…
- High Stakes Poker: Write a story about a professional poker player who realizes mid-game that someone is using his identity to gamble online, siphoning off his winnings.
- Mistaken Clone: In a futuristic society, a woman discovers her identity has been stolen to create a clone. How does she confront her genetic replica?
- The Fake CEO: Imagine a world where a look-alike takes over the life of a young tech CEO. How does the real CEO prove who he is?
- Parent Trap: A child wakes up to find that one of their parents has been replaced by an imposter. How do they prove it to the other parent?
- Virtual Reality: In a virtual world, a gamer finds someone using their avatar to commit crimes. What steps do they take to clear their name?
- Medical Theft: A doctor’s identity is stolen, and fraudulent prescriptions are filled under his name. Write about his journey to restore his reputation.
- The Ghostwriter: An aspiring writer finds that her identity has been stolen to write a best-selling novel. Does she seek revenge or try to prove she’s the true author?
- The Forgotten Spouse: A man’s identity is stolen, and even his wife believes the imposter is him. How does he win back his life and his love?
- Political Scandal: A senator finds out someone is impersonating him and making controversial decisions on his behalf. How does he resolve the crisis?
- Cybernetic Swap: In a future where humans can upload their consciousness to the cloud, someone steals a character’s digital identity. What happens next?
- Time Travel Dilemma: A time traveler finds that her identity has been stolen in the past. How does she correct the course of history?
- Space Theft: An astronaut aboard a spaceship discovers that someone back on Earth is impersonating him and selling state secrets.
- Twin Trouble: One twin steals the other’s identity for nefarious purposes. How does the victim prove the truth without implicating himself?
- Fugitive: A man framed for crimes he didn’t commit realizes his identity was stolen to commit these crimes. How does he prove his innocence?
- Identity Lottery: A character discovers that their identity is being raffled off on the dark web. What steps do they take to stop it?
- Catfish Love: Write a romantic drama where one lover discovers the other has stolen someone’s identity.
- High School Imposter: A student finds out that the new kid has stolen his identity. How does he reveal the truth?
- The Cop and the Criminal: A police officer finds out her identity has been stolen and is being used to facilitate crimes.
- Social Media Madness: A social media influencer’s identity is stolen. Write about how they handle the situation publicly and privately.
- Retirement Scam: An elderly man learns his identity has been stolen to claim his pension. How does he prove he’s the true retiree?
- Art of Deception: An artist finds out someone is using his identity to sell fraudulent art. How does he reclaim his original works?
- Football Imposter: A famous footballer discovers that someone has been impersonating him to negotiate contracts with other teams.
- Academic Fraud: A university professor finds out that someone has been teaching an online course under his name.
- Stolen Valor: A military officer has his identity stolen and discovers someone is receiving honors and benefits in his name.
- Historical Identity: Set in medieval times, a knight has his identity stolen and must prove his lineage.
- The Imposter Journalist: An investigative reporter realizes someone is publishing false stories under his name to ruin his credibility.
- Mafia Mix-Up: A gangster’s identity is stolen by a rival for espionage purposes. How does he restore his reputation in the underworld?
- Phantom Accountant: An accountant’s identity is stolen, and she is framed for embezzlement.
- Beauty Pageant Scandal: A beauty queen learns that her identity has been stolen to compete in international competitions.
- Casting Call: An actor has his identity stolen and finds someone else acting in his roles.
- Farm Identity: A farmer finds that someone is using his identity to claim farming subsidies from the government.
- The Undercover Agent: An undercover agent finds his cover blown because someone stole his undercover identity.
- Immigration Crisis: Someone has stolen a character’s identity to immigrate to a new country. How does the character resolve this issue?
- Asylum Imposter: A character seeking asylum finds out someone has stolen his identity and been granted asylum in his place.
- Stolen Childhood: A young runaway learns that another child has taken her place in her family.
- Bounty Hunter Chaos: A bounty hunter captures his target only to find out someone has stolen his identity to claim the reward.
- Fake Diplomat: A diplomat discovers his identity has been stolen to negotiate illegal arms deals.
- Love and Betrayal: A character finds out their spouse has stolen their identity to commit adultery online.
- Tourist Trap: A tourist has her identity stolen abroad and must navigate a foreign legal system to prove her identity.
- Prison Break: An inmate finds out that someone has stolen his identity to secure an early release.
- Scientific Scandal: A scientist learns that someone is conducting illegal experiments under his name.
- Horror Story: In a creepy town, a character realizes that his identity has been stolen by a shape-shifting monster.
- Racing Scandal: A professional race car driver finds someone has stolen his identity to race and win in another championship.
- Hacker Story: Write a tech thriller about a hacker whose identity gets stolen by an even more nefarious hacker.
- Chef’s Nightmare: A renowned chef finds someone is using his identity to open restaurants that serve horrible food.
- Wedding Crashers: On the day of his wedding, a groom finds out that someone has stolen his identity and is about to marry his bride.
- Outlaw Identity: In the Wild West, a gunslinger has his identity stolen by a coward who uses it to intimidate townspeople.
- Fantasy Realm: In a magical kingdom, a wizard’s identity is stolen to cast dark spells.
- Virtual Heist: In a world where cryptocurrency is dominant, someone steals a character’s identity to steal all his digital assets.
- Environmental Activist: An environmental activist finds her identity stolen to commit eco-terrorism in her name.
- Rescue Mission: A firefighter’s identity is stolen, and the imposter shows up to fight fires but doesn’t know what he’s doing.
- Religious Deception: In a religious community, a preacher’s identity is stolen to spread false teachings.
- Music Industry Scam: A musician finds someone has stolen her identity to release terrible music.
- Supernatural Sleuth: A paranormal investigator has her identity stolen by someone who wants to summon demons.
- Pet Detective: A pet detective discovers someone has stolen his identity to kidnap pets for ransom.
- Charity Fraud: A philanthropist learns that her identity has been stolen to solicit donations for fake charities.
- Haunted Identity: A person’s identity is stolen by a ghost who uses it to interact with the living world.
- Treasure Hunter: An adventurer learns his identity has been stolen to find and claim a legendary treasure.
- Stolen Legacy: A heir to a throne has his identity stolen, and now the imposter is set to become the next king.
- Legal Quandary: A lawyer has her identity stolen and finds herself representing clients she didn’t take on.
- Airport Mystery: Stuck in an airport, a character realizes his identity has been stolen to smuggle drugs internationally.
- Reincarnation Complications: A character believes they are the reincarnation of a famous person, only to discover someone else has stolen that spiritual identity.
- Last Will and Theft: A family finds out that someone has stolen their deceased father’s identity to change his will.
- Stolen Talent: A musician’s identity is stolen, and the imposter goes on to win a talent show in his name.
- Fitness Fraud: A personal trainer’s identity is stolen to sell fake fitness programs online.
- Gaming Scandal: A video game developer finds someone is using her identity to release buggy and offensive games.
- Vacation Nightmare: A couple goes on vacation and comes back to find their identities have been stolen to commit a string of burglaries.
- Military Coup: A general’s identity is stolen to issue unauthorized military orders.
- Insurance Fraud: A character discovers his identity has been stolen to fake his own death and collect the life insurance.
- Fake Pilot: An airline pilot discovers someone has been flying planes using his credentials.
- Fake Therapist: A psychologist learns her identity has been stolen to give harmful mental health advice online.
- Stolen Memories: In a sci-fi setting, a character has their memories stolen and used to create a fake identity.
- Phantom Student: A student finds out that someone has been attending classes and taking exams in his name.
- Home Invasion: A family comes back from vacation to find someone has stolen their identity to live in their home.
- Relic Hunter: An archaeologist’s identity is stolen to smuggle ancient artifacts out of a country.
- Royal Scandal: In a historical setting, a prince has his identity stolen by a commoner who wants to experience life as royalty.
- Suburban Spy: A suburban mom discovers her identity has been stolen by a foreign spy.
- Revenge Plot: A character’s identity is stolen as part of an elaborate revenge scheme by an old enemy.
- Fake Psychic: A psychic’s identity is stolen by a fraud who gives fake and damaging advice to clients.
- Reporter’s Risk: A war correspondent discovers someone has stolen his identity to gain access to confidential information.
- Toy Imposter: A child finds out someone has stolen the identity of their favorite toy character to sell knock-offs.
- AI Deception: A rogue AI steals the identity of its creator to release other rogue AIs into the world.
- Sibling Rivalry: In a large family, one sibling steals another’s identity to claim the inheritance.
- Olympic Scandal: An Olympic athlete finds her identity stolen to compete in and sabotage games.
- Explorer’s Peril: An explorer’s identity is stolen to lead an expedition into a dangerous territory.
- Body Swap: Through a magical event, two people swap bodies and one of them decides to steal the other’s identity permanently.
- The Host: A character discovers that a parasitic organism has stolen his identity to integrate into society.
- Bank Heist: A bank manager’s identity is stolen to commit an elaborate bank heist.
- Realty Scam: A real estate agent’s identity is stolen to sell homes she doesn’t own.
- False Prophet: In a dystopian future, a character’s identity is stolen to start a cult.
- Double Agent: An espionage agent has his identity stolen by another agent from a rival organization.
- Love Triangle: A character’s identity is stolen to woo his girlfriend and propose marriage.
- Patent Theft: An inventor has her identity stolen to patent an invention she has spent years working on.
- Cursed Identity: A character finds that his identity has been stolen as part of a witch’s curse.
- Zombie Apocalypse: During a zombie apocalypse, a survivor’s identity is stolen to gain access to a secure sanctuary.
- Adoption Scandal: A couple adopts a child only to find out that the child’s identity had been stolen.
- The Escape Artist: An escape artist finds his identity stolen, and the imposter performs a dangerous act that goes horribly wrong.
- Underwater Imposter: In an underwater research facility, a scientist’s identity is stolen to sabotage the mission.
- Historical Rewrite: In an alternate history, a character’s identity is stolen to change major historical events.
- Eternal Identity: In a story of immortals, one has his identity stolen to claim his eternal life.