Random Log-line Generator

I started this program back in December 1996, mainly to help myself learn Perl and also because I thought it would be a neat way to stop writer's block. Though my day job is mostly programming, it is writing that drives me (perhaps over cliffs at times...:)

The first version was very crude but worked well. Each type of sentence structure and word type had to be hard-coded. Starting with version 2, the script has been written in object-oriented Perl5, and now allows easily-added word types and grammars.

Since then, literally thousands of people have accessed the Random Log-line Generator, some of whom have hit the site over 400 times in one sitting! Yikes! Thank you for playing with the site and sending me e-mails. I've gotten e-mails from around the globe. The most common question has been "You must be insane! How did you have enough time to type in all those random log-line ideas?" That one's easy. I didn't! I typed in all the parts -- the program does the shuffling and combining. I don't know the mathematical technique for determining the number of combinations, but I estimate it to be hundreds of millions!!! (It may not seem that way at times... it's hard to make it random and yet not get stuck on repetitive values. If anyone has any ideas to improve that, please e-mail me.)
The other most common question has been:

"Do I need permission to use any of these ideas in my own work?"

If you do indeed create a screenplay or book based on ideas generated here, I request that you cite me and my program as the source of inspiration. (And please let me know how it all turns out too!) But you are welcome to link to my site, or e-mail examples of what you've found to others. If you feel especially creative (or drunk!), invite a few friends over and act out an improv sketch based on these log-lines.

As you can imagine, keeping this site supported takes a lot of time and effort. Please, if you feel this site is worthwhile, make a donation. It's easy! Just click here:

If you do, you'll cast your vote for new and improved features. Imagine being able to pick a specific genre (like mystery, science fiction, romance, comedy). Imagine a drag-n-drop style interface for custom generators. Or how about a downloadable version that will let you add your own words? Sound good? All of it is possible, but I'll only be able to add them if there are enough donations. Just $5 from each of you a year would do it. (The more, the merrier of course :)

Don't forget to spread the word. Get your friends to try! :-P

Tell your favorite newspaper, TV program or magazine! Help make this the best random generator out there!

Yours truly,
Brian J. Stokes