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The problem with good conflicts

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Writer’s_Magic, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Well! Maybe the most of you know it. You have a damn good idea, which sticks in your head every time. But you have no good (or realistic) conflict. The motivation can be everything, which fits it. The most time, it’s love, surviving and something like that. But a conflict is so much more difficult than the motivation. Especially, if you’re looking for a great one. Do you have some tips for me?
     
  2. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    Think of things or situations that would shake up the world of your characters. The situations don't have to be bad. It needs only be different to what the characters are used to. If you start there then you may think of something to require the characters to work to overcome.
     
  3. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Emotions. A lot of conflict is driven more by the emotions of the characters than them just pursuing a motivation. The characters can have simple motivations but what makes it work is that they're passionate about their motives.
     
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  4. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Character A wants something. Character B wants that same thing. If they both have compelling reasons to for wanting the same thing and they both can't have it, there's the basis for good conflict.

    For example. It's the post apocalypse. Character A's Mom has an infection. Character B's Sister has an infection. Character A heads to a drug store to search for antibiotics. The store is stripped, but character A find one bottle of antibiotics. Character B arrives and sees the stripped store and Character A holding the antibiotics. There's your starting point for a good conflict. How good it will be depends on how you have things play out and how well things are executed.

    What are you trying to convey with the conflict? What's the theme, the message, the what ever? Does it move the reader emotionally? Is it supposed to be tense? Is it supposed to be exciting? Is it supposed to be thought provoking? Is it supposed to be tragic? Is it supposed to be heart warming?

    The answers to these questions will guide you towards that good conflict.

    It's easy enough to make one out to be a physically powerful villain to be over come, which may convey the theme of good always triumphs.

    But what if neither is a villain? What if both characters are equally deserving?
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    There's nothing like a good villain to create conflict.
     
  6. goldhawk

    goldhawk Troubadour

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    One school of thought is that all stories are about injustice of one form or another. The hero is trying to rectify the injustice or prevent one from happening.

    Guy Sclanders of How to be a Great GM, says conflicts happen, "When somebody wants something very badly and has difficulty getting it." And that somebody is the villain. So:

    1. The villain wants something very badly and has difficulty getting it.
    2. He turns to immoral, illegal, and/or unethical means to get it.
    3. The hero perceives this injustice and decides to Do Something About It.
    Result: story.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Writer's_Magic, what is your good idea? And why do you think it has no conflict inherent in it? I find it difficult to talk about this sort of thing in generalities.
     
  8. Helen

    Helen Inkling

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    Give the main characters strong opposing beliefs.
     
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