50 Romance Plot Ideas:
1. THEY HAVE CHARACTER FLAWS… Honestly, every real-life romance deals with this, and it should probably come up in any story about a relationship. Maybe he’s too selfish or lazy. Maybe she’s too rash, or too fearful. Maybe one of them is too negative, and needs to stop being so cynical. This could lead to one of them making a big, stupid mistake, and needing to make amends and get the other person’s forgiveness.
2. She’s already ruled him out… she made up her mind a long time ago that she would only marry a man with a title, or she would never date a biker again.
3. They are competitors… for the same job, the same championship, etc.
4. They are straight-up enemies… He wants to buy the land to build a resort, and she wants it to get turned into a nature sanctuary. He’s the defense attorney, and she’s the prosecutor. They’re soldiers on opposing sides of the war… the possibilities are endless here!
5.He already won… he inherited an estate that should have been hers, or he got the job that she was hoping to be promoted into, and she’s seething.
6.He broke her heart in the past. Maybe there was a good reason behind it, or maybe he was an idiot then and realizes it now. It’s possible he just ignored her.
7.She did her wrong in the past… or maybe she wronged her family member or friend. (Or did she? That family member or friend might have lied.)
8.He did something wrong in the past, period. Although she wasn’t the victim, it was pretty bad. How can she be sure he’s changed?
9.She has trust issues… her last relationship ended in a terrible betrayal.
10.He has intimacy issues… maybe because of a traumatic past, he feels too vulnerable if anyone knows about his real emotions or weaknesses. Maybe she’s a psychic, a behavioral expert, or just the one person who can see right through him… and it makes him uncomfortable as hell.
11.She doesn’t trust her dating choices… she’s gotten involved with several losers in a row, and she’s taking a break–maybe a permanent one.
12.She believes no one can truly love her… because she made a terrible mistake in the past, or she’s not attractive in the conventional manner, or she’s a “fallen woman” in a repressive era, or whatever.
13.They are good friends… and they don’t want to risk ruining their friendship by taking it to the next level.
14.They are co-workers… and they don’t want to make things weird at the office, bar, or wherever they both work.
15.She’s freaked out by who he really is… a werewolf, ex-con, or whatever.
16.He has a secret… he’s in a witness protection program, he’s a hacktivist, his father is literally the Devil, or something of that sort. (When she finds out, the conflict may turn into the one above. Or maybe she’ll surprise him and be like, “You’re a hacker? Dude, that is so hot.”)
17.It was supposed to be sex only… they were going to be friends with benefits, or maybe he’s a male escort. Falling in love goes against the original arrangement.
18.Their love was supposed to be fake… they were pretending to be in love or married, or they entered a marriage of convenience. It can’t be real, can it? On a related note…
19.He was faking it at first… he made a bet that he could bed her, or pretended to like her so he could learn her secrets and be the journalist who broke the story.
20.She was stuck with him… he’s a partner on a job when she wanted to do it by herself, or he rescued her when she was actually pretty happy where she was. She doesn’t want to admit she’s actually falling for him.
21.He has moral qualms… he’s her boss, her teacher, her captor, or something like that. Or maybe she’s the sister or ex-girlfriend or his best friend, and that gives him pause.
21.She’s a mess… She’s grieving the death of her husband, partner, or child, or she had PTSD from battle or some other terrible experience.
22.Their love is forbidden by others… it’s against the rules, spoken or unspoken, of their family, organization, community, or religion.
23.He’s into something she doesn’t like… it could be an addiction, like alcohol, laudanum, or gambling, or a profession, like boxing or defending corrupt clients in court. Whatever it is, she wants no part of it.
24.Their cultures clash… because he’s a modern man and she’s from ancient Greece, she’s a big-city girl and he’s a small-town boy, or whatever you like. This can overlap with the next one.
25.They are from different classes… he’s a duke and his boyfriend’s a commoner, for instance.
26.One of them is promised to someone else… maybe the wedding’s already planned and everything. S/he might have reasons for going through with a loveless marriage.
27.One of them is married to someone else… but it was some weird legal, not-consummated arrangement, or she ran away long ago because he was an abusive asshole…anyway, there’s a damn good reason why these marriage vows don’t hold much water.
28.She is infatuated with someone else instead of him… she doesn’t realize yet that this other person is awful.
29.She is interested in someone else in addition to him… and she’s having trouble making a decision. Maybe she refuses to choose.
30.Their time is together is limited… she’s going abroad to study in the fall, his work visa is almost up, or she’s about to go on a space mission to another planet, never to return… what’s the point of getting serious? The next one may be related to this.
31.Being together would require a big sacrifice… she has to say no to her dream job, he has to move away from his family, etc.
32.He’s a danger to her safety… because he’s a spy, a vampire, or something like that.
33.She’ll only make him unhappy… because she’s dying of a disease, suffering under a curse, can’t have children, or whatever. (Note that in many cases, this conflict may be exaggerated in the character’s mind.)
34.He’s ugly, freaky, or scary-looking… but once she gets to know him, she sees him differently (basically, Beauty and the Beast.)
35.She’s disguised as someone he would never fall for… a man when he’s only into women, a Republican when he’s a die-hard liberal, etc.
36.She may or may not be real at all… is it really possible he’s meeting a fairy or an alien in his visions or dreams?
37.They can’t get together in real life… there is an ocean or a few centuries between them.
38.He’s a suspect… in a murder or robbery case.
39.Her family is the worst… can he really get involved with that? Alternately, maybe she has a couple of kids, and while they are cute, this is not what he imagined for himself.
40.Her town is the worst… and she really can’t leave. Can he really resign himself to living in New York City, when his cowboy heart longs for Montana skies?
41.He’s got a reputation… as materialistic douche, a heartless womanizer, a stone cold killer, or some other despicable thing.
42.They have terrible first impressions of one another… and it’s a little hard to admit they were wrong. They might have gotten off to an awful start by arguing over something.
43.She loves her freedom… and always saw herself as the carefree type who would never settle down.
44.He doesn’t want distractions… he has one very important job to do, and he can’t afford to get sidetracked.
45.He loves her, but she doesn’t know him… maybe he knows her from an alternate universe, or maybe she has amnesia.
46.She’s not supposed to ever fall in love and/or have sex… maybe she’s a nun or vestal virgin, or a cyborg for whom sex is illegal, or a unicorn herder, or something.
47.He’s trying to control her… because he doesn’t want her to be ostracized by Victorian society, or to be in danger by becoming a firefighter. But nobody bosses her around, so that’s not going to fly.
48.He doesn’t see her in a romantic way… for instance, she’s the kid sister of his best friend, and he still thinks of her as a kid.
49.The job is getting in the way… Look, it’s hard to be romantic when you’re working 24/7 on a political campaign, or helping fellow victims of the airplane crash survive in the mountains.
50 High-Stakes Plot Ideas:
Someone wants to destroy the country/planet/universe and must be stopped.
Someone the heroine loves mysteriously disappears.
The protagonist, someone he loves, or a team member is kidnapped or taken prisoner and must be recovered. (Saving Private Ryan; Taken.)
Someone is trying to murder the hero or someone he loves, and he doesn’t know why. He might or might not know the would-be killer is.
Someone is trying to murder the heroine or someone she loves, and she knows exactly why. Maybe the would-be killer has an old grudge, maybe our heroine has secret information, or something like that.
There’s a serial killer on the loose who must be stopped. It could be a person, a machine, or a monster.
A friend or family member has been brainwashed or possessed, turning them into a killer.
The heroine, or a group, is breaking out of prison, or fleeing slavery or another kind of oppression. (Mad Max: Fury Road.)
The investigation of a murder, maybe of a loved one, leads our hero to a foreign country or into a dangerous underworld.
People in a house or building have been taken hostage. (Dog Day Afternoon; Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.)
A person who’s imagined or played at being a warrior or hero now finds himself in a real battle or a game with big stakes. (Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One; Galaxy Quest.)
Someone is lost or stranded in an enemy environment, a harsh wilderness, or some other place where survival is a challenge. (Gravity; Into the Wild.)
A natural disaster, such as a tsunami or a virus, threatens to wipe out our heroine along with everyone else.
Someone is resolved to get revenge against the one who ruined his life or the life of a loved one—or at least bring the villain to justice. (Kill Bill.)
Our hero is sure someone’s been wrongfully accused or convicted of a crime, and searches for the real culprit.
A community asks a stranger to help save them from enemy soldiers, raiders, a dragon, or some other kind of threat.
The hero is on the run from the law. He may be guilty, or he may have been framed. (Catch Me If You Can; The Fugitive.)
Someone must find, retrieve, or get rid of a magical, cursed, or dangerous object or weapon.
An ordinary person learns she has special powers or is otherwise destined for a heroic adventure.
The hero has special powers or secret knowledge he must hide, or else risk getting killed.
Someone’s stealing something important, such as government information or just a huge amount of money. (Ocean’s Eleven.)
Someone wound up in the possession of something valuable, dangerous, or important, which leads to trouble. (Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.)
Rivals, enemies, or just seemingly incompatible people join together to take down a bad guy or reach some other goal. (Toy Story; Guardians of the Galaxy.)
A criminal is recruited by the good guys so he can bring his unique knowledge or skills to an assignment or case.
A team is on a mission, but one person turns on the others or organizes a mutiny.
Lovers, brothers, or friends are pitted against one another, and only one of them can prevail.
Through technology and/or other means, someone’s identity is wiped out or assumed by another person.
A spy or assassin decides to help his target instead. (Snow White and the Huntsman.)
A spy or soldier falls in love with the enemy—but remains loyal to her duties.
A damaging secret letter or video is made public, and the heroine must deal with the aftermath.
A voyeur or fan becomes obsessed, with shocking consequences.
A person must travel to a certain point by a certain time—maybe with a prisoner or a treasure in tow—or there will be dire consequences.
A human-made creature becomes a deadly threat. (Frankenstein; Jurassic Park.)
A plane, ship, bus, or train crashes or seems likely to crash. (Titanic; Speed; Unstoppable.)
A soldier, assassin, or other operative turns on his employers once he discovers they’re actually evil.
Through training and determination, an unskilled person becomes an effective soldier, spy, or hero.
Someone with a violent past, or someone retiring from a dangerous job, gets pulled back into the fray again. (A History of Violence.)
A person in the wrong place at the wrong time becomes an accessory or a witness to a terrible crime, putting him in danger. (Witness.)
Someone has killed herself, but our heroine is positive it was actually a murder.
A small group defends themselves against an attack by a much bigger and/or more powerful force.
Hundreds or millions of people are under attack by a small group, via computer viruses, biological weapons, or something else.
A conspiracy theorist or psychic predicts something awful, but can’t get anyone to believe him.
The heroine, or a group, wants to overthrow a government or other powers that be. (Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy.)
Strange events lead our hero to believe that everyone in this seemingly nice family, company, or town is actually hiding some secret. (Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy; John Grisham’s The Firm.)
A spy or imposter has infiltrated the group, and they’ll kill her if they discover her true identity.
The hero has been turned into a deadly weapon against his will. A bomb has been surgically implanted in him, he’s been infected with a virus, or something like that.
A murder case has been cold for years…and suddenly, a new murder looks like it was committed by that same unknown suspect.
The hero must perform a difficult task or do something immoral, or else he or someone he loves will be killed.
The heroine must deliberately give up her own life in order to save the lives of others. (J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)
The hero must kill someone they care about, or at least let them die, in order to save a larger group of people.
Camp Story Ideas:
Why children need camp for their social education
The camp experience teaches children skills needed to be successful in the 21st century
What families should look for when choosing a summer camp
Top questions to ask the camp director when looking for a camp
Benefits of summer camp for your child
Camp as an experiential classroom
Camp is the last unplugged environment
Tips for how to handle homesickness
How being a counselor prepares you for a “real job”
Top trends in summer camp
Is your child ready for summer camp?
Ways to make camp budget-friendly
What to keep in mind when packing for camp
Getting to know a camp’s personality
Summer camp friendships
How to know if your summer camp is safe
Knowing how your camp is reviewed
Ways to prepare for the summer camp experience