Conflict is the heartbeat of your story. Without conflict there is no drama, without drama, yes say it out loud, there is no story! Conflict is the very thing that keeps us glued to the screen as we move scene by scene watching how our characters’ deal with the conflicts presented in their lives.
Two definitions of conflict lifted from a google search are
Conflict is serious disagreement or argument, typically a prolonged one, meaning it goes on for some time and is not quick and easy to resolve.
Conflict in Literature is defined as
A literary device characterized by a struggle between two opposing forces. Conflict provides crucial tension in any story and is used to drive the narrative forward. It is often used to reveal a deeper meaning in a narrative while highlighting characters’ motivations, values, and weaknesses.
Why then is conflict important? Read below to see some of the reasons why.
- It helps move the story forward in a dramatic way: A story moving from scene to scene without conflict can get boring pretty fast, the conflict between characters and within the story helps it move along in an interesting way that grabs and holds the audience’s attention.
- It reveals to us who your characters truly are: When your character is faced with a difficult challenge, they can either flee, fight or freeze. Through conflict, we are able to see what your characters are truly made of as they go through the story overcoming one obstacle after another and making important life choices while at it.
- Conflict allows the writer to touch on heavy subject matters and themes in an interesting way without it coming across as preachy.
- Conflict helps the audience to connect with the characters and root for them: Most of the conflict your characters go through are things we have experienced ourselves as human beings and because of the familiarity in emotions, we are able to empathize with the characters and root for them as they tackle the demons in their lives.
Hope these tips inspire you as you go along in your creative journey.
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