Do you want to write a drama but need help conjuring compelling dramatic stories and concepts? Sometimes reading simple genre story prompts is the easiest way to get those creative juices flowing.
We get our ideas from many sources — news headlines, novels, television shows, movies, our lives, our fears, our phobias, etc. They can come from a scene or moment in a film that wasn’t fully explored. They can come from a single visual that entices the creative mind — a seed that continues to grow and grow until the writer is forced to finally put it to paper or screen.
They may inspire screenplays, novels, short stories, or even smaller moments that you can include in what stories you are already writing.
Read More: Dead Poets Society’s Tom Schulman on How to Write an Oscar-Winning Drama
101 Drama Story Prompts
1. Long-lost twins find each other.
2. A father deals with the death of his whole family after a tragic accident.
3. A mother struggles with grief after losing her oldest child.
4. A recently divorced man returns to his hometown and reconnects with his childhood sweetheart.
5. A rich executive realizes the error of their ways and sells everything to travel the world.
6. A family discovers the truth about ancestors.
7. A father and son go on a safari to reconnect.
8. A family befriends a homeless person.
9. Parents learn that their college-age daughter has disappeared.
10. A man befriends the drunk driver who killed his parents.
11. A mother wants to realize her life-long dream and train for the Olympics.
12. A father is tasked with coaching his son’s soccer team, even though he has never played the sport.
13. A teacher deals with returning to school after a mass shooting.
14. A group of teen friends decides to stop their partying ways after a friend dies after a party.
15. A little boy struggles to fit in with the kids living in his new neighborhood.
16. A family that loses everything in a fire must rebuild their lives.
17. A family must adjust to the PTSD of the father after returning home from war.
18. An estranged family is reunited.
19. The President of the United States and his family go incognito to live a normal life.
20. A famous family goes incognito to live a normal life.
21. A group of friends goes on a quest to bury a time capsule after one of their own dies.
22. A family travels to the American Frontier to find their new home.
23. A star baseball recruit struggles to decide whether he should take a scholarship or go pro.
24. A teen comes out of the closet in the rural Midwest.
25. Siblings learn that their parents were Soviet Union-era, sleeper agents.
26. A family on a wilderness retreat takes in a wounded bank robber.
27. A rich and affluent family loses everything and must live in the ghetto.
28. A group of families decides to move out of the city and live in a commune, cut off from the corrupt society.
29. A family sells everything to buy a sailboat to sail around the world.
30. A family finds a wild wolf pup.
31. Siblings start a successful business after their parents lose their jobs.
32. Two brothers do everything they can to ensure that their family gets to keep their house.
33. Two sisters navigate the difficult world of teen angst as their parents navigate the difficult world of keeping up with the Joneses.
34. A family decides to buy their own island.
35. Newlyweds spend their honeymoon together, only to learn some deep and dark secrets about one another.
36. A racecar driver dies, and his family struggles with grief.
37. An African-American family escapes the crime-ridden ghetto and moves into the suburbs.
38. A woman travels the world in search of love.
39. A family on a canoe trip is whisked away down the Mississippi River during a horrible storm and flood.
40. Kids discover an underground mine shaft and are trapped within it.
41. A bullied boy struggles to stand up to the bullies that torment him.
42. A bullied girl struggles to stand up to the mean girls of the school.
43. A family must survive when their plane crashes.
44. A family is willed in an old castle.
45. Two divorcees meet in a diner as one waits for a bus.
46. A man and woman fall in love during a layover.
47. A sailor decides to sail into the ocean where his brother was lost at sea years ago.
48. A town must survive the worst flood in history.
49. A lawyer goes up against the government.
50. Overwhelmed parents leave their kids home and go for an adult vacation.
51. A small farm family avoids the invading armies of World War III.
52. An outcast nerd decides to organize an alternative Prom for other outcasts.
53. An Asian-American teen living in the rural south struggles to realize his dream of becoming a country music singer.
54. Athletic siblings from a split home face up against each other in the state tournament.
55. A dog struggles to find the right human family.
56. Puppy siblings separated by pet adoption escape bad homes to find each other.
57. Siblings in an orphanage escape and find their beloved aunt and uncle.
58. Past prison cellmates find each other after thirty years.
59. A WWII veteran struggles to return to normal life.
60. Two groups of kids from rival gangs are forced to live together in a house.
61. A boy from a rich and spoiled family wants them to live without their mansion, belongings, and money for a year.
62. A rich boy and poor girl convince their families to switch places for a year.
63. A family sailing the ocean waters must overcome the worst hurricane in history.
64. A grief-stricken cop that killed a teen struggles to reconcile with the family.
65. A mentally-challenged student wants to make the football team.
66. A physically-challenged student wants to letter in every sport in high school.
67. A dog trainer takes in an abused dog and trains it to compete in a dog show.
68. A woman that spent 30 years in prison returns to her hometown.
69. A father struggles with becoming a stay-at-home dad.
70. A woman that grew up in a family of football star boys decides to become the high school football coach.
71. A family struggling in life sell everything to move to Hawaii.
72. A local town bands together as miners are trapped in the local mine.
73. Parents deal with their son robbing a bank and being on the run.
74. A city family inherits a farm.
75. A riverboat captain and his children attempt the first trip down the Mississippi River.
76. Childhood friends have reunited after thirty years apart.
77. The son of a poor family struggles to attain a sports scholarship so he can go to college.
78. A teenage girl decides to join the football team.
79. A World War II-era family starts a minor league baseball team to uplift the town.
80. The high janitor that students make fun of is actually a war hero.
81. A family adopts a puppy after losing the family dog.
82. A family is tasked with going on a unique scavenger hunt at the behest of the grandpa’s last will and testament.
83. A girl overwhelmed by middle school drama decides to be homeschooled.
84. A farm family nurses a wild wolf back to health.
85. Siblings mourn the death of their father and inherit his business.
86. A grumpy executive is forced to live with his family after a stroke.
87. A family must find each other after the worst earthquake in human history.
88. A family discovers that they are the descendants of Hitler.
89. A girl with Asperger’s Syndrome befriends a horse.
90. A disgraced boxer begins to train youth boxers.
91. A disgraced professional baseball manager starts a baseball team of inner-city kids.
92. A wilderness firefighter is trapped on a mountain.
93. A stay-at-home mother deals with empty nest syndrome.
94. A successful female executive leaves her career to spend quality time with her husband and children.
95. A young student has a crush on their teacher.
96. Former middle school best friends decide to have an old school sleepover after they’ve all gone their separate ways in high school.
97. A Post Civil War-era Union soldier returns to his southern hometown.
98. A beloved school teacher loses his family as the community bands together to become his new family.
99. A mob boss goes into the witness protection program and struggles to adjust to life in the suburbs.
100. The life of a girl is told as she grows into an adult.
101. A family decides to move into a lighthouse and take on the daily duties within.
Share this with your writing peers or anyone that loves a good dramatic story. Have some prompts of your own? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!
WANT MORE IDEAS? TAKE A LOOK AT OUR OTHER STORY PROMPTS!
What Entails a Drama Concept?
Drama can be best defined as a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces. While other definitions can be found, this is best applied to the cinematic context of film and television. Screenplays and teleplays focus on situations or series of events that involve interesting conflict — with the best kind of drama containing conflict that is intense and cathartic. Conflict is everything in film and television. Without it, there is no story to tell. Nothing is interesting about a character that doesn’t struggle in some way, shape, or form.
Drama is also recognized as a specific genre of storytelling featuring realistic characters forced to deal with true-to-life issues and conflicts. Yes, there is drama found in superhero movies, spy thrillers, and suspenseful horror stories. However, a drama — as defined by genre definitions — is a story that is embedded explicitly within reality, often involving characters that audiences can identify with because the conflicts they face are everyday struggles.
Read More: The Single Difference Between Cinematic Drama and Melodrama
Please note: Because we’re all connected to the same pop culture, news headlines, and inspirations, any similarity to any past, present, or future screenplays, novels, short stories, television pilots, television series, plays, or any other creative works is purely coincidence. These story writing prompts were conceived on the fly without any research or Google search for inspiration.
Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.
He has many studio meetings under his belt as a produced screenwriter, meeting with the likes of Sony, Dreamworks, Universal, Disney, and Warner Brothers, as well as many production and management companies. He has had a previous development deal with Lionsgate, as well as multiple writing assignments, including the produced miniseries Blackout, starring Anne Heche, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Zane, James Brolin, Haylie Duff, Brian Bloom, Eric La Salle, and Bruce Boxleitner, the feature thriller Hunter’s Creed, and many Lifetime thrillers. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenMovies.
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Author: Ken Miyamoto