Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 Ways to Create Powerful Conflict

I’ve been talking about conflict a lot lately. I know. Still, I couldn’t drop the topic without giving you one more list.

Here are seven tips for creating powerful conflict:

-The best conflict comes from your main character’s worst fear coming true at the worst possible moment.

-Plunk characters into situations that clash with their beliefs or values.

-Conflict in a story is a test for the character. Sometimes he’ll pass and grow from the experience. Other times, he won’t overcome the situation but will still grow in the process. Keywords: character growth.

-Don’t create a plot based on a single conflict. Instead, layer several conflicts, some worse than others, complicating the plot further and making the protagonist’s journey seem impossible.

-Show a character protecting real or emotional boundaries.

-Often, one character needs to change or make a sacrifice/compromise to resolve the conflict.

-Make the main characters uncomfortable. Put them in situations where the odds seemed stacked against them.

Obviously, there are many ways to improve conflict in your novel. Tell us about other ways you’ve created powerful conflict or what you’ve noticed other authors have done.

Lynnette Labelle

1 comment:

  1. Romantic interests who hold dealbreaking, opposing life views will push a main character to make a gut-wrenching choice. I also like to beset the MC with the usual: powerful enemies, dangerous circumstances and such, all interfering with the MC achieving goals.

    Good list. Thanks.