Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Conflict

I'm back from the family reunion. Four days of hanging out with extended family. I have no idea why the topic of conflict would be on my mind. =)

Really, I did have a good time at the reunion and it was great to see family that I haven't seen in years. But there was an element of conflict. There always is, isn't there?

Conflict is inescapable in real life. It surrounds us, like it or not. Our expectations collide with someone else's. The weather refuses to cooperate. People disagree with our opinions. Tragedy strikes. The list goes on and on.

I think most of us would like to minimize the amount of conflict in our lives. But when it comes to fiction, conflict is absolutely essential. Without conflict, there is no story. It is the tension created by the conflict that keeps the reader going. Time and again I have seen stories that have little conflict or in which the conflict is too easily resolved. Boring!

You can have all types of conflict in your fiction. Relationships, wars, illness, loss, pain, loneliness, oppression... The possibilities are endless. Just make sure you've got something there and that the characters have to struggle and sacrifice in some way to resolve it.

That is the heart of a great story.

So, I recommend you try and reduce the amount of conflict in your life. But when it comes to your story, ramp it up! Make those poor characters suffer. Your reader's will thank you.

10 comments:

Nisa said...

Even conflict has a place somewhere. :D Great post! (And the conflict couldn't be from the sheer size of that family reunion, could it? ;)

Terry W. Ervin II said...

A story without conflict struggles to be a good story.

Life without some sort of conflict--I'm not so sure such a thing doesn't exist. That doesn't mean one shouldn't do as you suggested, and try to minimize it.

Brenda Sills said...

It's interesting how that is, isn't it? We want to do all we can to cut out conflict in our lives, but in our stories it's vital! They wouldn't be real, rich, or moving without it. Great post! Thanks!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I made mine suffer in the next book big time!

Michelle Teacress said...

Every time I have a conflict filled day (which doesn't happen very often, thankfully) I end up feeling glad for the resource it provides when writing my stories. :)

Nichole Giles said...

Very good point. I'll keep your words in mind as I head to a gathering of my extended family tomorrow. =) And also as I'm writing. Thanks Angie!

tiffany said...

conflict in books and movies to me are like a horriable car wreck you just cant turn away

tiffany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

You're right, Terry. There is no life without some conflict. I think in some ways we need the conflict in our lives in order to grow.

Tiff, I think you hit the nail on the head. We all want to write stories that the readers just can't turn away from!

ali said...

LOL, aye aye cap'n! Conflict in real life = reduce/Conflict in literary life = RAMP. IT. UP.

I'll do my best!