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What Is Conflict in a Story?

When creating a story, you might wonder what is conflict in a story. You may need guidance on where to begin.

There must be conflict when creating a solid story, regardless of what type. Without conflict, there is no story.

Conflict is present in a story in various forms, from internal to external. Discovering how to create conflict and develop it will be vital in building your readership and keeping them hooked until the end.

Let’s dive into some conflict basics.

What Is Conflict in a Story?

Story conflict is a struggle between two opposing forces, between different characters, ideas, or even nature. It is an essential storytelling element, creating tension and propelling the plot forward.

Conflict introduces other storytelling elements, such as suspense, anticipation, and emotions, and helps keep the reader engaged. It can be seen as the catalyst for actual events in a story and is used to further the development of characters.

It is also a way to show the strength of the resolve of one or more characters and how they respond to the various levels of challenge. Conflict is essential to good storytelling and integral to the storytelling process.

The Four Types of Conflict Your Characters Will Face

Conflict in a story can come in many forms but generally fall into one of four categories. It can be physical, social, internal, or environmental. Understanding and using these four types of conflict is a great way to craft exciting stories to keep readers engaged.

Person Versus Person Conflict

Person versus person conflict, in particular, is a type of conflict in which characters directly oppose each other, typically resulting in physical or verbal altercations. This type of conflict is generally external, although the emotions and motivations of the characters may be internal.

Examples include a fight between siblings, two warring families, or a confrontation between a protagonist and antagonist. This conflict can be used to develop characters, reveal hidden relationships, or drive the plot forward. It can also provide dramatic tension and make stories more intriguing.

Person Versus Society Conflict

The most common conflict in literary works is the person versus society conflict. In this type of conflict, the protagonist must fight against a powerful external force, such as a law, custom, or dominant group. If successful, the protagonist will reverse the injustice and correct society’s wrongs.

It has a broader scope than a typical person-person conflict. It often pits the protagonist against their environment, be it a government, a powerful company, or a social norm. To succeed, the protagonist must usually overcome overwhelming odds.

When they do, their victory has a deep personal reward and shifts public opinion. So, person versus society conflict is a powerful tool for inspiring social change.

Person Versus Nature Conflict

One type of conflict is person versus nature. It arises when a character is antagonistic with natural forces, such as weather, environment, or the elements. It occurs when a character must struggle against a dangerous force of nature, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster.

It can also involve a character trying to overcome the physical limitations of harsh terrain, predators, or limited resources. Finally, it is a powerful dramatic device that can add excitement and tension to a story.

Person Versus Self Conflict

Person versus self-conflict is a type of internal struggle. It is common throughout stories. It occurs when a character faces a difficult decision or one of their desires is at odds with another.

This conflict can be interest versus duty or composure versus passion. It allows readers to gain insight into a character’s journey.

It can lead to growth if a character overcomes an emotional or moral dilemma, or it can lead to tragedy if it cannot resolve it. Ultimately, this type of internal battle creates a realistic portrayal of the character and emphasizes the theme of the larger narrative.

How To Find the Right Conflict for Your Story

When creating a story, it’s crucial to find the right conflict that will generate excitement and interest from your readers. Choose a conflict that is personal to your protagonist and action-oriented instead of more character-based or dialogue-based matches. Also, consider whether the conflict is essential and identifiable to your readers or needs to be more specific.

Consider if the conflict matches the genre of the story. Check if it is properly introduced at the beginning of the novel.

Remember to create a meaningful resolution for the conflict suitable for the protagonist and overall story. Check these funny short stories for more references on writing a short story.

How To Resolve Your Story’s Conflict in the Right Way

For your writing tips to resolve a story’s conflict correctly, all parties involved must be allowed to explore their values and desires in a respectful environment. Please take into consideration the consequences of their choices.

The resolution should be realistic and draw on the elements of the conflict rather than providing a solution based on the author’s beliefs. A meaningful answer should also leave room for characters to grow and develop despite the resolution of the conflict.

Use Conflict in a Story To Create a Compelling One

Conflict in a story is vital as it builds tension and suspense. Without it, stories can become dull. Writers need to learn how to confront their characters with meaningful challenges properly. Remember, the more dramatic the conflict, the more engaging the story.

Readers should look for examples of conflict in literature to understand the story characters’ motivations better. Explore literature to find out more about conflict and the different effects it can have on stories!

So feel free to give your characters a fight and create a captivating story. Try it out now!

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