Using Conflict

Conflict is a necessity when it comes to storytelling. It is what drives a story forward and writing one without any at all would, more than likely, bore your readers. After all, your story’s conflict is what helps to keep them turning pages late into the night.

     In basic terms, conflict is the challenge or challenges for that matter, which your main characters must overcome in order to get what they want or achieve their goal. If your characters always have what they want and need ready and available to them, then you would have to work impossibly hard to keep your story interesting.

     Conflict is what pushes your characters through to the end and prevents them from becoming complacent; it is where the drama comes from, and it can also help you to show character development by showing how each character reacts to the struggles you as the writer throw at them.

     There several different types of conflict and you should aim to have at least one in your story to give your characters something to strive for.

     One type of conflict, and from what I have seen the most common, is when a character faces off against other characters or an organisation of some sort. This conflict is external because it is in the world your characters live in. 

     Another type may be between the main characters and society, or a conflict with nature due to storms preventing the characters from getting to where they need to be.

     A character can even have conflict with themselves in that they may need to overcome a part of their own personality which is holding them back, for instance, a phobia of some kind which is preventing them from reaching their goal. This is an internal conflict because it is one that the character is having with him or herself inside their own head.

     You can use any type of conflict you like and, depending on the length of your story, you may want to use more than one or even all kinds. The point is your story has to be engaging, and things need to be happening all the way through, and the best way to do that is to introduce conflict wherever and whenever you can.

I hope I’ve not bored you all to tears but this is information that I would have found very useful when I decided to take writing seriously a few years ago, and it might just help somebody else out of a pickle. 

Anyway, as always, thank you very much for spending your time reading my words, I appreciate it.

Until next time,

George

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