Creating Conflict

Conflict is a storyteller’s best friend. The stronger the problem, the stronger the story.

conflict

A story for children should open with conflict. 

Don’t be nice to your character! Create obstacles to their goal. The story is more exciting that way, the character learns more, and the reward is more valuable since the character worked so hard for it.

Conflicting Characters

The most popular, since conflicts between people are the most interesting to readers.

cinderella

Cinderella and her wicked stepmother

Inner Conflict 

Conflict between good and evil or strengths and weaknesses in a character. This is deep stuff and not usually the main conflict. The Grinch is evil and hates Christmas, but he is not evil at heart, he is like that because someone hurt him. The Grinch feels inner conflict over the good and evil inside of him.

thegrinch

The Grinch

Fight Against Nature

Usually involves natural disasters or survival skills. This conflict is exciting, but often difficult to write about at length.

Lord of the Flies

You can combine different types of conflict. Maybe your characters struggle to survive and fight among themselves, such as in Lord of the Flies.

Add more conflicts and obstacles if your story seems slow or not ‘big’ enough.

Before you write, know how the problem will be solved. Don’t write yourself into a hole! Most importantly your main character must solve the problem. Don’t have someone (or something) enter at the last minute and save the day.

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