Today I would like to discuss conflict in story and how many times, scary or tragic events can make your story, while the lack of such can break it.
Let’s think for a moment here. If you look at different movies and books that are popular in our media nowadays, 9 out of 10 times those movies or books are filled with tragedy, extreme conflict, and prove that life is not perfect. Even in such fantasy or science fiction installments, we can see how much conflict the characters encounter, and what they have to go through to be successful in their lives or fight for what they want. As viewers and readers, we tend to connect more with these types of stories, because we tend to relate them to our own situations and what we may go through on a daily basis. This is why, as authors, we need to insert certain forms of conflict in our stories so that readers not only connect to us, but to our characters as well. Having a story that is filled with positivity and unrealistic expectations about life is not beneficial to the reader, and I guarantee that you as an author won’t enjoy writing it nearly as much if you don’t insert some truth from your own experiences into the plot.
Some ways to intensify the conflict and depth of your plot are as follows:
- Outline backstories for your characters. Doing this will allow you to get to know your characters better, while also creating events that can help your characters evolve and define their future actions.
- Look at all sides of conflict you have created, and determine whether that conflict is beneficial to the story. When using conflict, you want to make sure that you don’t go overboard. Make sure to include meaningful conflict into your plot, but make sure that that conflict benefits the story in a powerful way that will affect all characters individually.
- Provide a solution or the possibility thereof to give your characters, and your readers, hope. As a writer, you need to keep your reader’s trust. If you continually take hope away from your characters, this can devalue your story and cause your readers to feel tricked. Many times readers won’t continue a story or series if they do not feel connected to the author, or they don’t feel that the author took their feelings into consideration. Remember who you are writing for.
Conflict is a very tricky element to deal with when creating a plot, and I hope that these tips will help you to take your readers into consideration so that your story receives the best response possible!