Adding Conflict to Your Story

conflictWithout conflict, a story would be a lovely collection of thoughts and words but going nowhere.

What is Conflict?

Conflict is a problem that faces the main character. How he or she solves this conflict is what makes your story juicy and interesting.

Conflict can be about multiple things. It can be about something physical as in having to give up a job, a house, a family, a lover. Or it can be about what a character values and then is taken away from them. How will they get it back?

 Such things as:cash

  • Money
  • Friendship
  • Marriage
  • Honesty
  • Eco-friendly practices
  • Veganism

Things of value don’t always have to have a monetary value. It can be someone’s good name, love and a good marriage as in Pride and Prejudice or the prospect of never going hungry again as in The Hunger Games.

Ways to Create Conflict for Your Character

  • Give him a clear objective. Then something or someone has to get in the way big time to prevent him from achieving that goal.
  • Macro and micro – by that I mean your main character has a macro goal – something big, but he must also have micro goals to get him to his intended objective and that will help you to increase tension throughout each chapter.
  • Failure is your best option – your character must fail repeatedly, then get up and try to obstaclessurmount the huge obstacles that block him every way he turns.
  • Let disagreements and misunderstandings The more confusion you can create for your character the better the conflict and the story will be.
  • Make the situation worse. Whatever is happening, just make it ten times worse. Whatever is happening must happen at the worst possible time in the worst possible way.
  • What does the person risk? Make sure it is terrible.

Readers are not interested in happy, boring lives. They want something to happen, they want drama. They want to see their hero conquer all odds and win. There has to be a big change from beginning to end.

Do you have conflict in your novel?

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