10 Excellent Action Story Ideas for Your Next Project

An action story will always be good entertainment. Whether it is a novel, a TV show, or a movie, you will find that it can attract a lot of viewers. The explosive scenes with adrenaline-pumped actions, well-choreographed fight scenes from fit movie stars, and the heroic tale of the story will always be popular with the audience. As a result, action has always been a constant priority in the entertainment industry. Eventually, it might even inspire you to come up with your own action story.

Of course, it will require a lot of work and practice to develop your own action story, even if you’ve tried making one before. Learning how to be good at storytelling and figuring out how to translate it to appeal to the audience will be vital. The first step towards building a great action story for your next project is to ensure you have a great idea. Here are a few you might succeed with for your next project.

1. A Deadly Road Trip

Action stories are almost always better with a car chase. Weaving through traffic while exchanging gunshots, near misses in car collisions, and even actual car collisions make for good action sequences and drama. There are many stories to make based on cars, such as cops aided by helicopters chasing down a runaway criminal or a young and silent driver testing out his skills in a street race. Some of the most popular action movies that follow cars are the Fast & Furious movies and the Mechanic entries. However, none offers more intensity and suspense than a road trip gone wrong.

Friends going on a road trip will always be a thrilling adventure that the audience can relate to. Then, a sudden change of scene will happen wherein they might be chased by an unknown killer or a person trying to hunt down one of them. There are plenty of opportunities to insert plot twists like taking the car to a mechanic shop in the middle of nowhere for driveshaft repairs and then interacting with a suspicious mechanic that will go after them.

2. A Pandemic That Gets Out of Control

An action story does not have to be purely punches and weapons. It can include a bit of other genres, with horror being the closest you can incorporate into the theme. Zombie movies do this so well, capable of making audiences feel the nerve-wracking scenes of the main characters trying to survive from getting eaten and competing with other survivors for resources. Of course, the zombie trope might be overused, making you consider other options. Fortunately, you can draw from real-life experiences with a pandemic getting out of control.

It can be scary to imagine a world where a virus takes over, causing chaos all over the streets and rules that once governed the land being disregarded for survival. Whether it occurred due to a medical waste disposal gone wrong or an ancient disease coming back to life, the action story is up to you to decide. You can set up your characters to survive multiple instances where they have to compete for resources, shelter, and companionship. You can create a sort of dystopian world, allowing you to write whatever story you want that can translate into great action sequences. Of course, having a few medical experts can ensure that your pandemic idea can work, making your action story more realistic and relatable to the audience.

3. A Move Next to Strange Neighbors

There’s nothing more interesting than having action sequences in close quarters. Having it in the confines of a home with neighbors makes it even more interesting. Utilizing household items can make for great action scenes. Just look at Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank’s well-choreographed kitchen fight in the movie “The Hunt” and Samara Weaving’s battle with the Le Domas family in “Ready or Not.” You can develop great action sequences in an indoor story, making use of whatever is available to choreograph a good fight. However, the action story must be well set up to ensure the climax is rewarding.

Imagine this. Your main character and the family move into a new neighborhood, and the residential movers start to tell stories about the previous owners and the lore behind their disappearance. Eventually, the family starts to get suspicious about the neighbors, noticing things like them snooping over or even stepping within their property line. One night, the main character finds them inside the home, leading to them learning about the motives of the neighbors and an all-out brawl. Of course, you can insert interesting details about it to give your action story more plot twists.

4. The Life of a Gangster

There’s a reason why franchises like The Godfather trilogy and The Goodfellas are well-loved by the audience and well-acclaimed by the critics. Gangster stories have a certain appeal to action movie aficionados, especially when characters feel larger than life. Whether it involves the Mafia, the Yakuza, or even a new underworld syndicate, there will always be fans of organized crime being taken down because of a heroic spy or gangster members themselves being the main characters of the story. When you write your own action story, you can benefit from this storytelling idea.

You can create a story wherein an average person lost his family to gangsters. The criminal defense attorney will try to dissuade you from going up against the gang, but you still persist in seeking justice. Unfortunately, the judge and cops are under the gang’s payroll, leading the main character to take matters into his own hands. However, you can also go the other way around. You might want to focus on a gang member rising through the ranks, getting into fights, and surviving attempts on his life to ensure the gang’s authority and power.

5. Loan Sharks Who Go Too Far

There is always this idea that action stories must have heroic and strong main characters. However, that is not always the case, and sometimes, it might set your action story apart from the generic ones. While painting the main character as a loser is not ideal, you can tone the person down into a regular person struggling with life and finding himself in a crazy situation. Action movies like “Fight Club” and “Wanted” became cult classics because of the main characters developing into big names within their respective movies despite initially being losers.

Your story can go like this: an average person struggles to pay off his debt with loan sharks. After working with bankruptcy attorneys to fix the financial situation and getting multiple jobs, the loan sharks have had enough. The wild goose chase starts with the main character initially hiding and then realizing he needs to step up because the loan sharks have his family. Money can be a good reason why the main character goes into action-packed adventures or troubles, and setting it up with high stakes can make it a thrilling story.

6. A Country Club With Dark Secrets

An action story always works when the main character has to fight not only one person but an entire group. This is why John Wick and Jason Bourne became classic characters, going through an army of trained professionals while displaying great fighting skills. Of course, not every character needs to be a good shot, and you can play around the average person being part of a country club with a deep secret. Country clubs can mimic that of a cult, with members being part of either an organized crime syndicate or a membership of rich people with an interest in killing. Your character can be a regular Joe.

A country club setting can provide an ideal environment for choreographed fights. Similar to a home, the establishment has several items for the main character to utilize at their disposal. Golf carts used to run away from a hunting group, golf clubs utilized to fend off attackers, and even towels used as a self-defense tool; the list goes on for action story creativity.

7. A Divorce That Spirals Into a Blood Feud

If there is anything that intensifies an action story more, it is the feeling of betrayal. Telling a story involving strong emotions can always give an action story more meaning, with viewers understanding why the characters get into conflict. The drama that comes from a betrayal and the resulting action can be a story that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. One way to achieve this is to create an emotional scene where a divorce leads to a feud.

A divorce is one of the most heartbreaking events of a person’s life, and with so many real-life stories to receive inspiration from, your project can become the ultimate drama-action adventure. A divorce can side with one person, with the main antagonist developing a plan to steal family wealth and assets and leave the main character with nothing. The divorce attorney might feel like there’s nothing he can do to help, making vengeance and justice the primary reasons for retribution. It might feel like a plot similar to “Gone Girl,” but you can also have the character win this time. The action that might come with the project is not your typical shootout, but the emotional package from the main character’s journey can make it thrilling.

8. A Deep Well That Leads to Underground Mysteries

There’s an allure to make the action story a mysterious one. Often, the stories of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot have intense action scenes that keep people interested. However, you might want to go the fantasy route, similar to horror-action stories like “Cabin in the Woods” and “Evil Dead.” For your next project, you can go with mysterious water wells, attracting people inside to inspect them. Unfortunately, no one might make it out alive. This time, your character can be the one to take the audience along for the journey, leading to the discovery of what lies underground.

This project can allow you to mix fantasy with reality. You can have your character enter a whole new world different from the surface. The person might be arriving in time for a revolt, becoming the savior needed to overthrow a corrupt leader. You can also turn it into horror, where the well’s dark secrets include monsters that prey on those who fall.

9. A Suburban Facade Hiding Disturbing Realities

As a story, buying a custom home for a really affordable price should already set you off. If movies like “The Parasite” and “The Barbarian” are any indicators, you might be in for an action-packed surprise. However, as a movie story, you will find the trope creative and full of surprises. Your main character can set off inside a new property he just bought and find out that something odd is happening at night.

After days of intense suspense, the person might discover that the custom home has a hidden labyrinth, allowing the antagonists to infiltrate the property. Another movie you can take inspiration from is “Sinister.” The main character discovers the disturbing realities of the previous family’s fate to a horrific entity influencing the kids.

10. A Ruthless Jewel Thief

Action does not have to be horror or drama-related. Sometimes, action is just action in itself. Heists are the perfect tropes for those kinds of stories, with the Ocean’s trilogy and the Money Heist television series being successful examples. Your story can start with a museum curator trying to figure out how to hunt down a ruthless jewel thief. The thief left the museum guards for dead after stealing the most valuable possession of the establishment.

The story can follow the main character towards a satisfying ending. Heists will also work well with detectives or criminal law experts chasing down thieves. Going through photos, evidence, and testimonies makes action detective stories great.

Inspiration is everywhere from an action story. However, you will find that there are a few ideas you can try that are already well-tested and proven to be successful. Of course, the story’s ingenuity and attractiveness will depend on your creativity. Once you have your idea for your next project, you can start researching and working your way onto your best project yet.


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