An introduction to my take on conflict.
I've slowly but surely been giving thought to my new project. It's still untitled and it's still unwritten. But I have been getting to know my new characters. And, man, let me tell ya--I'm having FUN doing it!
All fun aside though, the process is teaching me about something really important. Okay, maybe "reminding me" would be a better phrase, as it's something I already knew... And I'm sure it's something you already know as well. But, for me, "knowing it" and concentrating on it? Apparently they're two completely separate things!
Characters need to have internal conflict AND external conflict. And we're talking ALL characters--main & secondary.
Because conflict adds depth. It keeps characters from coming across as cardboard cutouts.
Knowing my characters' internal and external conflicts ahead of time is helping my new plot to practically write itself. Seriously. I WISH I'd done this with Shattered! Though I came to understand what drove my characters through how they behaved with the twists and turns I threw into their lives, I think it would have been much easier to write, had I known those driving forces ahead of time.
- Takes place in a character's mind. (Man vs. Self)
- Helps readers to identify with the character.
- Includes: Mixed emotions. Decision making.
- Includes: Longings/Desires
- Includes: Doubts
- Takes place outside of a character's mind.
- Could be: A person (possibly the antagonist, but not all of the time) who stands in the way of what the character wants. (Man vs. Man)
- Could be: Weather keeping the character from what they need. (Man vs. Nature)
- Could be: Government impeding a character's actions. (Man vs. Society)
Something else to think about:
Okay, that's all for today folks :-) Stay tuned for more in this series down the road... There are lots of things to learn/review/think about regarding conflict!