I’ve written about story conflict before, and today I’m going to give you a simple question. The question is:
Q: How can things get worse for your main character?
Why this question matters (and how to use it):
Picture this: your protagonist is enjoying a relaxing day at the beach. They read a paperback, sunbake, and have a swim. Then they go home.
Yawn. Boring! No conflict = no story.
Now picture this: your protagonist is enjoying a relaxing day at the beach. Ask yourself: how can things get worse for your main character? Maybe:
- He gets sunburn
- The wind hurls his umbrella into the sea
- There’s a great white shark in the water!
Boom! Just like that, you’ve created conflict.
What makes this question so valuable (and important to ask) is that it serves as a ‘check’ or self-assessment tool to make sure there’s enough conflict. Consider this question regularly (maybe write it on a sticky note and slap it on your computer?), and your story will be brimming with meaningful conflict!
Want to learn more about story conflict? Check out my other conflict-related posts here:
- Using the 6 Types of Conflict to Create Pitch-Perfect Tension
- Character Goals: the Key to Great Conflict