Monday, October 7, 2013

Creating Conflict in Your Story

One of the things I have the most difficulty with is creating powerful conflicts. It is easy for me to write little vignettes or stories with no problems in them. I have a dear friend that keeps a day book on her blog. It's a wonderful slice of her life, including spiritual moments and tasks she's completing at the moment. I love it, but there are no real clashes or disagreements in it.

I like reading about arguments and differences--maybe because I avoid them in my life.
Dave Farland says, "Every story needs conflicts to drive it." (As you know, I love reading and quoting Dave Farland.)

I have also read that you need to have multiple layers in a conflict. So, If I create a physical conflict, like peril to the character's life or something like that, then I need to give that character a fear to face that kind of conflict. The character has to figure out how to beat the antagonist. That way the character is struggling mentally, emotionally and physically. That is three layers. If there are moral arguments associated with the conflict, then I can give it more layers.

With all this said, it is something to study out and construct carefully. I just can't 'fly by the seat of my pants' with it--which I have done in the past. (It doesn't work for me.) I guess I'm not intuitive enough or smart enough to work that way. I'm a slow steady plodder who has to study it out.

Happy conflicting in your stories.
Christy Monson

Christy's books Love, Hugs, and Hope When Scary Things Happen, and Becoming Free, A Woman's Guide to Internal Strength are available on line and in bookstores now.

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