Princess BrideCONFLICT: It makes us turn the page, swoosh the e-reader screen, or keep watching. Superficial or profound, it drives the story forward, creates tension, and forces the protagonist to grow. Great novels have both external and internal conflicts.

Man vs Man: Including but not limited to:
  • demons/angels/gods
  • other supernatural creatures like vampires & werewolves
  • aliens
  • any manner of undead
  • any sentient being
  • family dynamics/expectations
Man vs Society: Including a host of its corresponding biases and prejudices pertaining to:
  • culture
  • ethnicity
  • race
  • age
  • gender
  • religion
  • business
  • government
  • politics ( local-state-national-world)
  • education
  • socio-economic status
  • group affiliation
  • sexual orientation
  • technology
Man vs Nature
  • climate
  • weather
  • topography
  • plant life
  • animals, vermin, insects, fish etc
  • cosmic phenomenon
Man vs Self
  • emotional health
  • physical health
  • spiritual health
  • psychological health
  • intellectual health

 Conflict escalates as the story unfolds. The Climax IS The Final Battle. Choose your weapon. Be it with a scimitar, light saber, words, or actions make sure The Final Battle causes the protagonist pain ( emotional, spiritual, psychological, and/or intellectual ) enough to see his authentic self—the ah-ha moment.

So next time you read a book or watch TV or a movie try identifing all the types and layers of conflict. Then take a look at your work in progress. Got conflict?

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