Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Question - Conflict and Quarrels!

Tell Me a Story - writing tips.

AJ, I’m sorry to be a pain, but I’m still not really sure about conflict, what it is and what you mean by it. Can you explain it a little more? I mean, I sometimes read books and there’s no quarrelling or shouting in it, so where’s the conflict then?
Hi Eileen, thanks for visiting. Okay let’s take a deeper look.

What is this thing called conflict?
In one form or other conflict shapes the heart of every story, yet conflict doesn’t automatically mean quarrelling, in fact if that’s all the book is about it would be pretty boring.
Conflict really boils down to struggle. Conflict can be divided into three main areas, the struggle between man and man, between man and himself, or between man and nature. Of these, the struggle between man and himself is sometimes the most poignant, the most heart-rending.

Conflict may concern what went before or what’s happening in the present-day; it may come about because of relationships and occupations, or devotion and dreams. Conflict can cause confusion and arguments, but remember; simply having your protagonists quarrelling is not enough. Conflict in books – as in life, should be multi-layered.

Emotion or events
Conflict can be internal – concerned with emotions, or it can be external – concerned with events. Often it can contain both. A relentless internal struggle can be underscored by external events and skirmishes, but remember, inner conflict makes your protagonists seem more realistic.

There will probably be several conflicts in the story, but there should be one and only one BASIC conflict that the story hinges on, and this must continue throughout the story right to the end. Often a story opens with this BASIC clash between protagonists. Their suspicions then give rise to all the other problems that occur through the novel. Minor conflicts are often resolved as the story progresses. The BASIC conflict should not be resolved until the end.

Don’t forget that in a book, conflict equals tension. Without tension the reader simply tosses the book to one side.
SHORT MOMENTS - Short story collection

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