Conflict

Conflict = Desire / Need + Obstacle

Conflict = Fear VS Desire

A strong conflict makes the reader feel real concern, show real danger yet leave room for hope. Because without hope, there is no reason to read on, they feel nothing but despair and walk away.

We only change as a result of things not working – as a result of failing.

conflict forces people to act and when they do, they show their true self.

conflict categories

  • Relational (human vs human)
    • Antagonist vs good guy
    • good guy vs good guy
  • Situational (human vs nature/environment)
    • Physical
    • cultural
  • Inner (human vs self)
    • Desires
    • values
    • flaws
    • handicaps
    • ignorance
  • Paranormal (human vs tech/possibility)
  • Cosmic (human vs fate/god/destiny)
  • Social (human vs group)
Problem intensifiers
  • Specificity
  • Immediate
  • Probable
  • Significant
  • Dilemma
  • Uncertainty

Three stages of conflict

1, Anticipation of conflict
2, the clash of opposing forces
3, The unforeseeable outcome that strains the emotional equilibrium

Two lines of conflict: Main and sub-plot conflicts

There is one main problem (either with the antagonist or the main obstacle) and this has a line of action. Once you have a clear concept for the conflict, strengthen it by creating a connection that unites protagonist and antagonist in their struggle. This connection is called the unity of opposites. It binds them together, compelling them to interact and clash. In the best stories, this connection is unambiguous. It clarifies what fuels the conflict and what characters must surrender for a resolution to be found.

Alongside it, there is one other important line of action with a conflicting character or difficulty for the protagonist. This builds to increase conflict and complications as the story deepens. When this second conflict involves another character, it often resolves around the midpoint and develops positively for the protagonist just as the primary conflict heats up. In the second half of the story, the two plot lines merge and affect each other.