Creating Conflict

Conflict is to story as water is to life – your story can’t exist without it. If you want to keep your reader turning pages, keep putting your characters into conflict.

Conflict comes in many varieties. The four basic conflicts are:
1) man against man
2) man against nature
3) man against society
4) man against self

In each type of conflict, you have a character pitted against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Your job as a novelist is to keep those obstacles worsening until all seems lost. 

If you are a peace-loving person, it may be difficult for you to write conflict. But if you want to succeed as a storyteller, you must learn to make big trouble for your characters. The more trouble you create, the better your story.

In future posts, we’ll discuss each type of conflict individually. Meanwhile, tighten the screws on your characters’ lives. Your readers will love it. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Creating Conflict

  1. Yes, I do like to see conflict resolved in my life! I avoid it, or try and fix it, so when it comes to writing conflict I can be challenged. But usually though, I am able to separate things. Looking forward to hearing more about conflict. Have a blessed weekend! 🙂

    May 14, 2010 at 9:38 AM

  2. We may hate conflict in our lives, but we love it in fiction. If there were no obstacles to overcome, how boring would the story be! My writing partner says to put your hero up in a tree and throw rocks at them. 🙂 After the Highlights workshop, I am not only throwing rocks at my main character, I’m also shooting darts. It’s jumped the level up a couple of notches and I’m delighted.

    The most important thing is to resolve the conflict in a satisfying, true-to-the-story way.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:41 PM