Conflict is the driving force behind any plot. Whether it’s a character conflicted over the choices they’re making and actions they’re taking, or two opposing forces trying to accomplish opposing goals, conflict drives your plot forward. If you don’t have some form of conflict, you don’t have much of a story. To illustrate:
Johnny walking home from school is just Johnny walking home from school. Not much interest. Johnny dreading getting home from school because of a bad grade or because his mean older brother will be watching him creates conflict. How is he going to deal with that bad grade when he’s confronted about it? What can he do to avoid his older brother?
Much like there are similar plot scenarios, conflict takes six particular forms.
- Versus Self
- Versus Society
- Versus Nature
- Versus Machine
- Versus Fate
- Versus Other
Each form of conflict has its own traits, which I’ll cover in the upcoming posts. You’ll be able to return here to catch up on any conflict posts you’ve missed.