In a previous post, I pointed to ways that writers could generate plot ideas. Well, let’s go to the next step. Below you’ll find a quick synopsis of several plot ideas that I’ve tossed around over the years. Most of these are basic, but my hope is that they generate new writing projects for you.
- The protagonist gets thrown into a world that is completely unfamiliar and must deal with the change (specifics: forced to return to a small town, stuck in the wilderness, isolated in a spacecraft/biosphere/building/submarine, running a new business for a family member, mistaken for someone else, transported to a different time/world, struck by a debilitating illness/injury, surviving a nearly earth-destroying catastrophe alone or with a few survivors).
- The protagonist must track down a valuable item (specifics: uncovering a lost secret, finding a hidden treasure, discovering a cure, saving a kidnapped family member/friend/love interest, participating in a Carmen-Sandiego style romp around the world to locate various items, the seven pieces of whatever must be found to save the world).
- The protagonist must stop something from happening (specifics: his/her own death, world-ending catastrophe, antagonist bent on forcing an agenda, personal tragedy, loved one’s death, losing love interest, forest or other habitat from being destroyed, an innocent person from going to jail/being put to death, a vehicle crashing and killing lots of people, being fired, a terrorist attack, deaths of fellow soldiers/unit/special team).
- The protagonist must make something happen (specifics: put a perpetrator behind bars, complete a complex project before time runs out, deliver an important cure/antidote/supply, reach a specific destination, raise sufficient money/support, finding a love interest within a specified time limit, uniting divided factions).
- Protagonist must solve a complicated problem (specifics: solve a murder or other criminal mystery, train for and attempt a sporting or academic goal, compete in a fantasy/sporting/academic tournament, navigate a fantasy academy, achieve a career goal, survive summer camp, attract a seemingly unattainable love interest).
- Protagonist must deal with personal turmoil, life changes, or other challenges (specifics: addictions, marital/relationship strife, religious/spiritual journey, job search, world travels, family history, long lost love interest returning, end of high school/college, end of summer camp, start/end of military duty).
- Protagonist must defeat something (specifics: social injustice, corporate corruption, political corruption, legal corruption, church corruption, man-eating lizards, robots from Timbork, aliens from Vega, antiquated social customs, dragons, ocelots, an army of mercenaries, bureaucracy, a city ordinance, poachers, a mad librarian).
And, if all else fails, you could simply throw in some zombies.
Leave any plot ideas you’re willing to share in the comments.