High Concept Story Generator (Create Story Ideas)

Most high concept stories result from a collision between two contrasting words. It's this elemental contrast that's at the root of many high concept movies: Jurassic Park (zoo + dinosaurs), The Matrix (reality + illusion), etc.

This tool doesn't give you the complete outline for a high concept story. The High Concept Generator creates simple sparks for story ideas. Your imagination and tons of hard work are required to fan that simple spark to full flame.

More info can be found below the tool or in this article on how to generate high concept story ideas.

Story Concept Ideas

Click the generate button until you see a concept you like. Click on that word to save it in the saved words box. Use the lock above the word if you want to generate more combinations with that word.

Repeat the brainstorming process until you're mentally exhausted. Come back another day if that happens.

Generated words go here…

Saved Concept Words

You can drag the words around to rearrange the order. To delete a word, simply click or tap on it twice. You can copy your saved words to your clipboard or download them as a text file.

Saved Words Will Appear Here

The Story Concepts Must Generate Questions

How do you know if a word combination has narrative potential? The answer is that the combination must generate story questions in your mind.

For instance, "outlaw + murder" might not create that many questions as the two story elements are pretty harmonious. We've seen many stories that fit this description.

On the other hand, "magical forest + murder" might generate some questions in your mind, especially if the fantasy genre appeals to you as a creative writer. It might conjure the following questions in your head:

Who in the magical forest has been murdered?
Why were they murdered?
Who in the magical forest will solve the murder?

Answering these questions will start to generate characters for you and clarify the concept and outline.

Is this an easy process? No. But if the initial spark appeals strongly enough to you, other narrative elements will quickly follow.

Having some initial momentum is better than facing the terror of a blank page.

Or waiting for inspiration to show up on its sometimes highly irregular schedule.

Lock a High Concept Word

If you see a word that appeals to you, then you should lock that word in place and generate more story ideas that use that word.

For example, if you came across this combination, "convict + heist", you might think that's not very inspiring. But if you like crime stories, you could lock the word "heist" to see if you could get a more imaginative pairing.

This word-locking might lead you to something like "vampire + heist", which has much more story potential.

Is it a heist where our protagonists want to steal something from a vampire?
Does it take place in a remote mansion? Does our crew know he's a vampire?
Would this lead to them just trying to survive until the sun comes up?

Locking one word that speaks to your sensibilities can lead to concepts that quickly inspire you.

If not, then unlock the word and find another concept that gets the creative juices flowing.

A Piece of a High Concept Story

Sometimes, this tool can create sparks that lead to high concept stories.

For example, the words "astronaut + hypnosis" are not a story idea. This combination evokes more of a character concept, leading to questions that can create a story for you. These two words helped me imagine the following piece of a story.

"An astronaut undergoing hypnosis to remember a traumatic event from his childhood recalls a space mission that he's never been on."

This description is the start of a basic premise. It'll take a lot of fine-tuning to transform it into a solid story logline, but sometimes working from a character idea can lead you to your high concept story.

More about High Concept Stories

If you want to read more about story creation, check out my article, How to Create High Concept Story Ideas.

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