WEDNESDAY WRITING TIP: Conflict

Posted: June 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

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Every story HAS to have conflict.

Without conflict you don’t have a story. The conflict can be between two characters, between a character and a force in the world or between a character and himself. Without it, what do you have?

Furthermore, conflict must turn from scene to scene. If a scene begins and then ends and nothing has happened to change the conflict–worsen it, lessen or twist it– nothing has really happened. It usually means you just spent time boring the reader with an information dump or some other darling that should’ve been the victim of a homicide.

Why conflict? Well, it’s what makes life interesting. Without it can you have a story?

No, you can’t.

Since the beginning of time stories have been told about people struggling against something. If you take that away I don’t know what you have.

You don’t have a story.

When you get feedback on your writing does it sound like this:

“I couldn’t find a hook?”

“I liked the writing but I couldn’t get in to the story.”

“It dragged in spots.”

“The characters didn’t speak to me.”

These are all disguised ways of saying your conflict needs work. Intensify it, bring more of it into every scene or create new conflicts on top of the main conflict.

It doesn’t matter what type of fiction or for that matter non-fiction you write. Characters who aren’t in conflict are boring.

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Comments
  1. I’m tired of “man vs man”, “man vs nature”, “man vs himself” stories. I want to see one with the innovative “author vs reader” conflict.

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