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5 Conflict Types to Use in Memorable Stories

5 Conflict Types to Use in Memorable Stories

Memorable Stories without tension, in which the main character encounters no obstacles, fall flat because readers get bored.

In real life, agreement and harmony are admirable objectives that result in a harmonious life. However, this is not a recipe for captivating stories.

Readers adore a good fight. It is the motivation behind gripping literature “Book publishing company“.

Conflict generates tension, and readers are compelled to turn the pages.

Conflict on both the inside and outside
These definitions are obvious, at the risk of insulting your intelligence. Internal conflict is when your main character struggles with things like inner demons, self-doubt, etc.

[*Note: I use male pronouns to refer to both heroes and heroines.]

For instance, he can struggle between wanting independence and being afraid to face the world on his own.

Your character’s difficulty or hurdle is simply referred to as “external conflict. What does he need or want, what are the risks involved, and what gets in his way?

Conflict from the inside and outside interacts. Because worries, doubts, and wrong ideas often come from outside pressures, it can be hard for your character to get rid of them.

Five Types of Conflict

Self vs. Man

This kind of conflict typically has an external cause, yet the actual conflict itself occurs internally. Your character might be torn between different wants, like if he should give up on his morals to get what he wants.

Dialog, action or inactivity, thoughts, or even dreams, nightmares, or hallucinations can all be signs of internal conflict.

In Fight Club, for example, the main character fights with his boss, other people, and society as a whole (which he sees as empty and consumerist), but the story is really about the fight between his two different selves.

Between men

Don’t assume that this kind of confrontation necessitates physical combat or even an argument, though of course those also meet the criteria. It is normal for the hero and evil to clash.

A character, however, might potentially fight against your hero while keeping his best interests in mind. In contrast to the teen’s yearning for independence, a parent might want to keep their teenager close.

An illustration of this is the power struggle in Iron Man between Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane, his former mentor, over the direction of Stark Industries.

Nature vs. Man

When trying to live in a hard place, like a mountain, desert, ocean, or jungle, a character may face extreme cold or heat, dangerous animals, or other threats to his life.

This is a type of conflict that often shows up in dystopian stories after something terrible has happened to the world, like a plague or a nuclear war.

An illustration is a fight between dinosaurs and humans in Jurassic Park.

“Society versus Man”

A character in this kind of struggle is pitted against his or her government, the police, the military, or some other strong force, such as social conventions. It usually works best when a particular villain personifies society.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch stood up for a black man even though racism was common at the time.

The supernatural and man

Characters often fight vampires, werewolves, aliens, or wizards in science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy and her companions battle vampires and demons.

How to Write a Story with Conflict.
The best tales include multiple levels of conflict. Your hero might battle the adversary as well as his own insecurities. Or, your hero could fight both people and nature. For example, he could be kicked out of his village and have to live in the wild.

Readers are more likely to find your tale fascinating, and your resolution will be more impactful if you include different sorts of conflict.

Stories require plenty of conflicts.
Do whatever it takes to introduce conflict if you’ve hit a writing services wall in the middle of a piece because scenes seem to lack tension. Is it sarcasm, a person getting angry for no apparent reason, or a friend suddenly in your character’s face?

Once that problem is introduced, you (and your characters) have to work quickly to resolve it. In turn, this results in page-turning tension. What is happening?

Trust your instincts and your character to rise to the occasion.

Check out my articles on character motivation, character empathy, and story structure for more tips on bringing the conflict to your stories.

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