Which Story Premise Contains The Most Conflict

In the world of storytelling, conflict is the driving force that keeps readers engaged and invested in the narrative. But what kind of conflict creates the most compelling and captivating story? From man vs. nature to man vs. society, explore the story premise that contains the most conflict and the elements that make it so gripping.

Pain Points:
When it comes to story premises, there are certain elements that can create intense conflict and emotional resonance with readers. These elements include:

  • Emotional stakes: When characters have something deeply personal at stake, the reader becomes emotionally invested in their journey and the outcome of the story.
  • High-stakes scenarios: When the stakes are incredibly high, the conflict becomes more intense and the reader’s adrenaline starts pumping.
  • Unfair circumstances: When characters are faced with unfair or unjust circumstances, it creates a strong sense of injustice and fuels the reader’s desire to see justice prevail.

Story Premise with Most Conflict:
The story premise that contains the most conflict is one that pits the protagonist against a powerful and oppressive force. This force can be a tyrannical government, a corrupt corporation, or even a malevolent supernatural entity. The protagonist’s struggle against this force creates a compelling narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

In the realm of storytelling, conflict is the key ingredient that keeps readers engaged and invested in the narrative. Story premises that feature a protagonist pitted against a powerful and oppressive force, with high emotional stakes and unfair circumstances, create the most compelling and captivating conflicts. These elements generate a strong sense of injustice and fuel the reader’s desire to see justice prevail, making these stories the most gripping and unforgettable.

Which Story Premise Contains The Most Conflict

Which Story Premise Contains the Most Conflict?

When crafting a captivating story, conflict plays a pivotal role in driving the narrative forward, engaging readers, and creating a compelling emotional experience. By introducing conflict, authors create tension, obstacles, and challenges that the characters must overcome, driving the plot and character development. Among various story premises, some inherently offer more potential for conflict than others, thereby providing a rich foundation for a compelling narrative.

1. Man vs. Nature:

Stories where characters confront the forces of nature often offer immense conflict potential. The protagonist’s struggle against the elements, such as a raging storm, a treacherous mountain, or an unforgiving wilderness, creates a relentless battle for survival. The harshness of nature poses formidable challenges, testing the characters’ limits and forcing them to adapt, overcome, or succumb.


2. Man vs. Society:

Conflict arises when characters find themselves at odds with the societal norms, expectations, or institutions. This premise delves into themes of social injustice, prejudice, discrimination, and the clash between individual desires and societal constraints. The protagonist’s fight against oppressive systems or societal pressures creates a powerful narrative that resonates with readers facing similar challenges.

Man vs Society

3. Man vs. Man:

Stories centered on interpersonal conflicts offer a rich tapestry of emotions and motivations. Characters clash due to differing goals, values, ideologies, or personal grievances. This premise allows for intricate character dynamics, betrayals, rivalries, and alliances. The tension builds as characters navigate the complexities of human relationships, often leading to dramatic confrontations and unexpected twists.

Man vs Man

4. Man vs. Himself:

Internal conflict delves into the protagonist’s psychological and emotional struggles. The character grapples with inner demons, past traumas, moral dilemmas, or existential questions. This premise allows authors to explore the complexities of the human psyche, creating a deeply introspective and personal narrative. The character’s journey of self-discovery, growth, and redemption can be profoundly moving and relatable.

Man vs Himself

5. Man vs. Supernatural:

Stories involving encounters with supernatural forces, such as ghosts, demons, or deities, create a unique blend of conflict and intrigue. The protagonist’s confrontation with the unknown and inexplicable challenges their beliefs, sanity, and sense of reality. The tension heightens as the character battles against malevolent entities, unravels supernatural mysteries, or seeks to restore balance between the natural and supernatural worlds.

Man vs Supernatural

6. Man vs. Technology:

In a world increasingly driven by technology, stories exploring the conflict between humans and technology offer a thought-provoking premise. The protagonist may face the threat of sentient machines, grapple with the ethical implications of advanced technology, or struggle to maintain their humanity in a technologically dominated society. This premise delves into themes of identity, control, and the consequences of unchecked technological advancements.

Man vs Technology

7. Man vs. Fate:

Stories where characters confront their destiny or predetermined outcomes create a sense of inevitability and suspense. The protagonist may struggle against prophecies, curses, or predetermined events, seeking to alter their fate or find meaning in a seemingly predetermined existence. The conflict arises from the tension between free will and the forces of destiny, leading to powerful and emotional narratives.

Man vs Fate

8. Man vs. Time:

Stories that involve time travel, aging, or the race against time create a unique type of conflict. The protagonist may be fighting against the clock to prevent a disaster, unravel a mystery, or save a loved one. Alternatively, they may be struggling to cope with the passage of time, confronting mortality, or seeking to alter the course of history. The urgency and ticking clock element adds intensity and suspense to the narrative.

Man vs Time

9. Man vs. System:

Stories where the protagonist faces an oppressive or corrupt system offer a powerful premise for conflict. The character may be fighting against a bureaucratic nightmare, a totalitarian government, or a deeply entrenched societal injustice. The conflict arises from the protagonist’s determination to expose the truth, challenge the status quo, and bring about change. These stories often explore themes of power, corruption, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Man vs System

10. Man vs. Unknown:

Stories that delve into the unknown, whether it’s a mysterious phenomenon, an alien encounter, or a journey into the depths of the unknown, offer a compelling premise for conflict. The protagonist’s quest to uncover the truth, unravel the mystery, or survive in uncharted territory creates a sense of suspense and wonder. The conflict arises from the character’s confrontation with the unknown, their fear of the unknown, and their determination to push the boundaries of human knowledge.

Man vs Unknown


The premise of a story plays a crucial role in determining the level of conflict and the potential for a captivating narrative. While all of the aforementioned premises offer opportunities for compelling storytelling, some inherently provide a more robust foundation for conflict and emotional engagement. By carefully crafting the premise and exploring the inherent conflicts, authors can create stories that resonate with readers, leaving a lasting impact and sparking meaningful conversations.


  1. Q: Which story premise offers the most potential for moral dilemmas and ethical conflicts?

    A: Man vs. Society and Man vs. System often present complex moral dilemmas and ethical conflicts, as characters navigate oppressive systems and societal norms.

  2. Q: Which premise is best suited for exploring the protagonist’s internal struggles and personal growth?

    A: Man vs. Himself delves into the protagonist’s psychological and emotional conflicts, allowing for a deeply introspective and personal narrative.

  3. Q: Which premise is most effective in creating a sense of urgency and suspense?

    A: Man vs. Time and Man vs. Fate introduce a race against time or predetermined outcomes, creating a sense of urgency and suspense.

  4. Q: Which premise offers the most opportunities for action-packed sequences and thrilling conflicts?

    A: Man vs. Man and Man vs. Nature often provide ample opportunities for exciting action sequences and thrilling conflicts between characters or against the forces of nature.

  5. Q: Which story premise is best suited for exploring the themes of identity, free will, and destiny?

    A: Man vs. Fate and Man vs. Time delve into themes of identity, free will, and destiny, as characters confront their predetermined outcomes and the passage of time.

Video Building Conflict from a Premise