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Writing Question: Conflict

Story Empire

explosionCiao, SEers. Seems my time for a Friday post has rolled around again. This is the week of the month where we pose a question for discussion.

I’m going to discuss first, then pose my question.

Ask one hundred authors how to craft a story, and you’ll get one hundred pieces of advice. Some might be helpful to you, some not so much. But one thing authors, editors, publishers, and readers agree on is this: good stories have conflict.

There are two types of conflict: internal and external.

  • External conflict is an outside force acting on the hero.
    • Suspense: Being stalked by a serial killer.
    • Romance: Domineering father forcing his choice of suitors on his daughter (a man she despises) to improve the family’s socioeconomic status.
  • Internal conflict is the turmoil self-imposed on the hero.
    • Suspense: She’s a cop and wants to succeed at her job, but she’s afraid…

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