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Writing Tips 26 - Conflict is important


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If a species never struggled to get something and never found a way to make it easier to get, it would never evolve.

If human beings had never struggled to kill prey, we never would have developed tools to help ourselves, and the modern age would have been so far out of reach, we wouldn't even have been able to dream of it.

Problems create dreams of them no longer being an issue, and those dreams fuel the drive to find a solution.

Without conflict, there's no challenge. A goal can seem meaningless and is easy to give up on if you don't get satisfaction from overcoming it.

Conflict comes in many shapes and forms, everything from wanting to be able to do something (painting, speaking another language, swordplay, protecting oneself and those they care about, having a nice bedroom, etc), to the bare fundamentals of survival and our sanity being threatened (lack of food, water, shelter, or companionship; that can drive a person insane as many famous movies showcase, etc).

Struggle inspires growth like nothing else.

The conflict is not always the same, but as people, there are a few that we just can't seem to get rid of, and you can probably name some right off the top of your head, like relationship struggles, societal issues, injustices, etc. So, make a list.

Make a list of all the conflicts you can think of, some physical like a threat, some nebulous like philosophy; it may even be the fact that your characters don't actually know what's wrong, or perhaps they just can't put it into words.

Give your characters something to fight or a puzzle to figure out, either of which may or may not be solved by the end of the plot (i.e. if the whole point is that they don't solve it, then so be it) and let them go at it with everything they can think of.

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