This post is a small cheat sheet dedicated to conflict.
Every plot is built on:
1) The internal conflict: the character’s emotional, mental, spiritual, physical evolution/struggle throughout the story;
2) The external conflict: events happen in the world where the story is taking place and the character reacts to them. The external conflict creates the story goal;
3) The interaction between the internal and external conflicts, which will give rise to a climax, and the plot will come to a resolution.
Here’s an example everyone will relate to: Snow White.
Snow White’s internal conflict: she’s the princess and like all princesses in fairy tales, she wants love.
The external conflict: the Queen wants her dead, so she has to hide. It’s Snow White vs. the Queen. Good vs. Evil. Who will win?
Well the issue here is that love will be difficult to find if Snow White stays hidden forever. But how will she escape the evil Queen?
The death of Snow White after eating the apple is the climax in the fairy tale. When the prince finds her and the glass coffin breaks, she wakes up and tada, finds her true love! The plot resolution is good wins and evil loses.
Conflict is the structure. The interaction between the internal and external conflicts creates the meat and potatoes of the story, and each character’s arc. More on the arc in a another post…
I’m pasting a link to a very good article on internal and external conflict – definitely very helpful for every writer out there. The whole website is actually dedicated to writing so feel free to explore.
Alright, that’s it for today! Thanks as always for reading!