Questions tagged [conflict]

Conflict is a concept from narrative fiction. It refers to either the ambivalent emotions of the hero ("inner conflict") or the opposition by antagonistic forces that the hero encounters. In a group of heroes, the "inner conflict" may be disagreement between group members. An example for "inner conflict" is Gandalf being torn over whether he should use or destroy the ring. Group inner conflict happens when Boromir attacks Frodo. The Nazgul are antagonists.

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How do I write gray vs grey stories?

I've been kind of interested in writing a grey vs gray story. For those who don't know grey vs gray is two or more sides of conflict that aren't full on good or full on evil. I'm writing a webcomic ...
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Is this ununderstandable character part of the conflict?

By "ununderstandable" I mean that this character I'm thinking of isn't human. He's more of a devil sort of thing. Of course he still has his motivations, goals, etc, but he's more of a tool rather ...
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What are the best techniques to show a character panicking as it is seen by the POV character?

So the problem I am having is that the protagonist of the novel I am writing is having a confrontation with another character, who starts panicking. Instead of saying "panic dripped from his face", I ...
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The problem of the throwaway boyfriend

In the first 10% of my novel, my MC has a boyfriend. MC is accepted into the Space Corps (or he's summoned to fight Troy - the particulars don't really matter), boyfriend is sure he'll wait the ...
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Conflict and antagonist in a certain subtype of erotic novels

In his answer to my previous question, @Standback distinguishes two types of erotic storyline: stories in which the stakes are romantic or sexual stories in which the stakes are neither romantic nor ...
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In a first-person web novel, how to make the reader aware of a motivator the POV is unaware of?

In my novel, the MC (and POV character) spares an enemy. He spared the enemy because he empathized/identified himself with them, but he was not aware of it. Later on he will understand his feelings ...
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Does a story require a villain to succeed?

So far in my WIP, which is a “journey” story, the main characters have been struggling against the environment and the fact that they’re displaced and trying to return home. I’ve arrived at a point ...
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What could be done to generate and maintain reader interest in plots without a lot of conflict / tension?

Edit 3 - Even though this is the third edit I feel it has to be included here at the top. My question as it stands is based on the assumption that reader interest does not exist in plots without ...
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How to write a story without conflict, like “My Neighbour Totoro”?

We are used to stories being about conflict. There can be an antagonist, or a hostile environment, or even an internal problem (like depression), but conflict is there. The story arc involves dealing ...
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Character, plot, and setting conflicts

I'm working through the Sanderson youtube classes on writing fantasy and he discusses the idea that conflict can arise between any two (or three) of the three legs of a story - plot, character, ...
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Character crisis for a Science Hero?

I have three protagonists working towards the same goal but with different motives. They are co-protagonists each with their own character arc and resolution. Circumstances bring them together but ...
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Plot and characters conflict too much

My question is if you run into characterization vs. plot conflicts, or unlikeable characters, do you do major changes to your characters to fit the plot or do you make major changes to your plot to ...
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What is a subplot based on: conflict or tension?

I'm attempting to understand how subplots work, and one aspect has me confused. I'm trying to create a process by which I can create subplots. When I create the main plot, I start with conflict - two ...
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How to manage the dynamics of a conflict between parents when their child is involved?

There's a conflict between a mother (a major character) and her ex-husband (an antagonist) during the rising action of my story. He grows jealous, possessive and very persistent over the fact she's ...
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How to focus on external conflict rather than inner/interpersonal conflict?

I love creating characters and my plots generally focus greatly on their inner conflicts and their relationships with other characters (my experience has almost exclusively been writing romance). ...
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How does (or should) an inner conflict span a series of novels?

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. ...
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How does External Conflict set up the Climax?

Note: As with any aspect of writing, I'm sure there are those who disagree with it. If you disagree with the conclusions I've come to below, I would like to hear your thoughts. However, I would ask ...
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What is the Purpose of an Inner Conflict?

I've long known what the purpose of inner conflict is. Indeed, it was one of the simplest concepts for me to grasp when I was learning about it. Now I'm not so sure. I seem to have developed a dual ...
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Is it more effective to lead with a physical conflict rather than an emotional one?

I currently have the choice of two routes with my novel - to lead with a knives-and-poisons main conflict, with reference to the protagonist's emotional conflict, or to lead with him conquering his ...
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Does anyone know an excerpt of writing which demonstrates the stress and emotions of an anticipated clash with a bully?

The protagonist has difficulty with his emotions and social coping mechanisms, and is being bullied by a secondary character. I'd like to dissect the emotions and reactions in him as he learns that a ...
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Why/when should character conflict happen and how do I write it?

I've come to the recent conclusion that my writing lacks conflict. This problem is especially hard for me because I don't like conflict in my own personal life, and am the type who doesn't usually ...
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What are some conventions for creating a sense of urgency?

I do not believe I came up with the concept of urgency in a main conflict, but I cannot find the original source, so I will just define it here. When I create and develop a main conflict (I am a ...
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Tips for continuing plot when the spearhead character is not the protagonist?

In the story I am writing, the main character is not in control of the events of the story, I did this to create a strong sense of powerlessness, but I have found a problem. I am having difficulties ...
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How do you write a political debate in a story?

I've recently started writing, but hit a wall during a certain scene. In the story, the characters have an open debate on discrimination in an attempt to raise awareness for their issues and pass new ...
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Hang on - where's the main conflict?

I've recently been struggling with a very strange problem in my writing: I can't find the main conflict in my novels. This has inspired quite a bit of thought and reflection on exactly what a main ...
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Why does the villain always win right before the hero defeats him?

One common setup for a story goes like this: We have the heroes on one side We have the villains on the other side The bad guy has an evil plot that will cause some undesirable result The heroes know ...
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How to write a strong villain who isn't really present?

I've been working on a quite large story for a while now, but going through my drafts I noticed one weakness: My villains are very underdeveloped / weakly characterized. I'll try to generalize the ...
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Can the main conflict be the inner conflict?

I've recently been having trouble with developing plots. The plots I created seemed heavily sequential. No matter how many twists or complications I put in, they always seemed dry, proceeding from one ...