Boost your story’s conflict by asking this 1 question

Conflict is the lifeblood of stories. Conflict drives the plot, shapes characters, and reflects the theme. Conflict leads to suspense, which keeps readers turning your story’s pages.

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:

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:

Advertisements

One thought on “Boost your story’s conflict by asking this 1 question

  1. Pingback: 3 Things Writers should Learn from ‘I Am Legend’ (the book) – Jed Herne: Writer

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s