Concept #3 – The Guardian


Beautiful art by Algoinde

Prompts & Concepts

Context: supernatural/suspense story set in a universe with magic maybe – MC = Main character

MC was imprisoned for years (centuries? immortal?) in some sort of dungeon or labyrinth (in a desert? somewhere very isolated and long forgotten) with something they were supposed to guard. MC is released one day without knowing how, why or by whom, doesn’t know how long it has been at first and doesn’t understand what is going on. The object MC was guarding (or person? or concept? magic?) has been stolen? And MC has been set free to go and retrieve it?

Or someone tried to steal the object and failed because it was hidden too well, with MC and so they left “leaving the door open” for MC to leave. One day he realizes he is not ‘bound’ to that place anymore (the spell has been broken?) and he decides to leave.

The object (or person or concept) he is guarding could be anything (a powerful gem that is actually a person, some knowledge that only he knows about and that the world must never learn but he doesn’t know that he knows nor that the world must not know, or an object that must not be stolen [and that perhaps has not been there for a long time or has never been there]).

The whole point of the story is the search for an explanation as to why they were imprisoned like that and also the quest to find the thief and get back the object or protect it from the thieves.

MC was a completely normal person at first but became something else after having been imprisoned in that place for no real reason (was chosen? against their will? their choice? –> no clear recollection): immortal (each time MC is wounded or dies, their wounds slowly (or quickly?) turn into ashes and disappear, leaving them fully healed), amnesic (doesn’t know why they were imprisoned) and intelligent/wise (centuries old, lots of experience because lots of time to read, learn and experiment) but no practical experience in the real world.

As MC travels the world, they try to find out what was stolen and who stole it. Then, progressively they begin to question why they were imprisoned/chosen as guardian, why they were prisoner/what they were guarding and who did that to them. It’s a little fuzzy because of the time spent in the dungeon/temple/prison. They also try to understand why they are sort of immortal, what has happened to them?

The first part of the story would be the quest to protect/retrieve the object but it would slowly begin to be about himself and what his existence means as it progresses on. Perhaps the beginning of a series of books/stories about this character? The whole mystery of MC being either the guardian or the prisoner or both must remain until late in the story, it’s one of the central parts of the plot. The whole psychological part of doubt MC has inside themselves could be very interesting.

Well here you go, another concept I have had in mind for a while now. I don’t really know where it could lead because it seems fuzzy and not well designed for the moment (and I apologize if it was explained in such a way, I couldn’t really come up with a clear explanation) but I hope you will be at least a little inspires by it.

Feel free to enjoy this gift as you want and to do whatever you feel like doing with it!

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Concept #2 – Ghost in a shell


Prompts & Concepts

Context: horror story with ghost or specter, the main character goes to investigate strange happenings

The MC [Main character] (a journalist? a writer? a ghost hunter? psychic?) goes to an isolated mansion (or any kind of dark, scary place) to investigate strange happenings and rumors of supernatural events occurring there. Also, fishy story about death of the old owner? First owner died mysteriously, is said to be haunting the house? And last owner died strangely too.

MC’s search progresses normally at first but quickly begins to get weirder and weirder as they venture deeper into the mansion and dig into the back story of the ‘specter’ haunting the place. MC doesn’t believe it at first but slowly starts to understand things aren’t normal and begins to consider the possibility of something unexplainable.

Specter/Ghost starts to chase MC all over, scare them and trying to kill them to exact revenge. MC manages to survive while uncovering the dark secret and realizes that the ghost was trying to communicate with them since the beginning but cannot really control its connection to the physical world.

MC finally understands that the ghost is a prisoner from a curse and somehow, over the course of the story (however long that is) begins to realize they have feelings for the specter/ghost (yeah, they fall in love somehow…).

MC does all they can to free the ghost without dying and at the same time tries to get it to decide not to kill them but understands that isn’t really its goal. The specter is bent on killing MC at first but somehow begins to see that MC can help it and that there is something more to the situation (love is in the air?). The character/way of being of the MC is the reason the ghost/specter starts falling in love too and, despite being very closed off at first, as the story progresses the ghost/specter begins opening up a little bit.

Also, MC isn’t really ‘good’ and that’s why the specter starts falling in love with them? Their feelings/love is not bound by normal rules.

Problem: the ghost/specter is cursed and can’t resist the urge to devour living souls (the soul of MC for example) but MC tries to help to deal with that somehow.

Do they end up together in the end? If yes, how? Is MC good or evil?

(MC is obsessed with ghost/specter, passionately in love?)

I’m not entirely convinced with that one.

I feel that writing this and offering it to you is not really worthy of the exercise, of me. I feel compelled to flesh out the story first, to give it more depth and value.

But that is the point of the game: giving you unfinished and incomplete ideas so that maybe you will want to give them life.

Anyways, hope you are interested!

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Concept #1 – Role reversal

Image by tomhotovy

Prompts & Concepts

Context: adventure story, most likely (during) a Manichean type of conflict. Good guys versus bad guys. Single characters or groups, doesn’t matter for either side.

During one of the fights between the protagonists and the antagonists, one of the antagonists, a particularly antagonistic character is captured/taken in by the protagonists.

At first he tries to free himself/leave and go back to his own companions. He doesn’t succeed and is stuck with the protagonists for some time.

Over the course of said time he tries to destroy them or convert them to his point of view to get them to come to his side but he doesn’t seem to succeed.

Slowly, however, and without completely realizing it, he starts to turn to the protagonists side and to befriend them.

At one point in the story he even begins to help them towards their cause. Overtime he changes to their side.

A possible twist to that would be that one of the protagonists, at one point in the story (possibly around the moment the antagonist who has been captured starts becoming a protagonist), betrays the other protagonists and decides to join the antagonists’ side.

Why not make this happen during a great battle (meaning a major conflict in the story). The antagonist who has been captured finally starts helping the protagonists and as they are about to overcome (or even things out with) the other antagonists (who feel betrayed by the captured antagonist’s desertion) they are betrayed by one of them and that betraying protagonist leaves with the antagonists and joins their cause but not before badly wounding the captured antagonist.

This could be either about the point of view of the good side or the bad side: a dark/evil character becoming good (with all the struggle it implies), or a good character becoming evil. Or something else entirely.

Also, I say ‘he’ when talking about the character(s) but that doesn’t mean I mean them to be male (nor human), anything goes.

This may seem common (it uses some common tropes/plot devices) but the whole psychological aspect of the betrayal of the antagonist towards his companions and then the betrayal of the protagonist to join the other side could be very interesting to exploit.

Also, why not mix in a few love interests here and there to make things more complicated? Like between a protagonist and the antagonist they captured or between a protagonist and the other one who will betray them? The person the antagonist who starts to become good likes is killed (or gravely wounded) by the protagonist traitor?

Yep. There you go.

This is a short and simple one to begin with, but quite interesting and efficient nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy!

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