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POV character, let’s call her Alpha, needs to get a feudal lord to rebel against the Empire. The lord doesn’t know there is support for the rebellion. Alpha is a merchant and uses her network for scheming.

In a previous chapter, she started a set of rumors, counterfeits and staged incidents so the lord is convinced that one of the neighboring lords is trying to ruin him financially and, with the support of the Empire, take his possessions.

I’m trying to write a chapter where she visits the lord and gets his support for the rebellion. I’ll use this chapter to show some other things:

  • political order and how the nobility lives
  • introduce mundane magic features of the setting
  • introduce the lord’s son who’ll be a POV character later

But I’m missing the conflict here. Alpha staged an excellent setup. The lord will tell her he’s in danger. She’ll offer him to join the rebellion. He accepts. Yawn.

How can I add more dynamic to this persuasion? Where can I look for inspiration?

  • Do we know that Alpha is manipulating the situation? – hszmv Jan 21 at 14:25
  • She does, she staged everything so that the lord thinks he's in danger – Miroslav Zadravec Jan 21 at 16:46
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So Alpha lies and manipulates to trick the Lord into thinking one of the neighboring lords is trying to ruin him, and then she asks for his support? Does he know about this? Maybe it can be a possibility for him to figure it out during their conversation (if I am understanding you right).

You could also do the classic thing where everything is going smoothly and then OOPS - a bomb goes off in the distance (not actually a bomb, but you get the idea). Something urgent suddenly cuts off the conversation and Alpha's progress is put in jeopardy. They have to deal with that thing now.

Also, if you make it clear how vitally important it is for Alpha to get this lord's support, it will make the scene more of a nailbiter without adding more conflict. If Alpha fails in getting the lord's support, then _________ will happen, and that's bad because ________. Raising the stakes makes it more interesting to read (It could also be fun to make the lord difficult to convince, drawing out the persuasion to its breaking point. Maybe some character flaw of the lord stunts things - like he's not a trusting person, etc.). But if readers understand that this conversation is a tipping point for your story, the scene will have more value to them and things will seem more important.

[When it comes to getting inspiration, you could read more books, or get in the headspace of your characters, or check out Jenna Moreci on YouTube - I know that last one is random, but she's very helpful and has a variety of content to help writers]

Hope this helps. If not, then good luck!

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