I recently asked this question, about inner conflict. Mark Baker supplied an answer to that question which redefined how I saw inner conflict, and as a result, the whole process of making a novel. Because this way of thinking is still new to me, there are some parts of it which I don't have figured out yet. One of those parts is this question.
Mark Baker explained that the novel revolves around the inner conflict: a choice between two options. The climax is when the choice is made. This makes sense to me. As long as you have a single novel.
What if you are writing a series of novels though? There is only so much back-and-forth you can show between the two options - it's going to get repetitive fairly quickly. If the inner conflict is the main conflict of the novel, this poses a problem; the last thing you want is a repetitive and boring main conflict.
How do you handle this problem?
It's obvious to me that one of two things has to happen. 1) The inner conflict miraculously stays original every novel. I can't see this working short of introducing new inner conflicts every novel, which won't work if every one of them is central to your character. A character can't have that many centers.
2) You work with an external conflict (which can change throughout and between the novels), and somehow make it as meaningful as the inner conflict. The actual inner conflict likely becomes a subplot.
Obviously one of these two things has to happen. How they can happen, I know not. Hence the question.