Man vs. nature
A man is trapped in inhospitable conditions (e.g. top of a mountain in a blizzard, on a jungle island, on an oxygenless planet) where nature holds the upper hand. Rather than accept his apparent fate of dying at nature’s hands, how through forethought does the main character overcome each challenge and ultimately survive?
Man vs. man
A secret agent is sent to an enemy-occupied country in which he must foment a rebellion. He finds a willing and capable partner in a woman who lost her husband to the enemy. When our agent discovers she also is a mother – and as he falls in love with her – he doesn’t want her to be part of the resistance. Can he convince her to not be part of the resistance?
Man vs. society
What if our main character carries a legacy of being the relation of a horrible man, who did terrible things to others? How does he deal with being shunned by society? How does he try to make a name for himself and claim his own identity, separate from this legacy?
Man vs. himself
How far should a crusader journalist, an idealistic hacker, or an activist, bend the law to unveil the truth? Is there a time when the end does justify the means? What steps in our protagonist’s thinking lead him to make a specific decision either way?