Conflict is a story element that introduces opposing beliefs, goals or wants and forces the protagonist to make decisions. This is not just a way to entertain the reader; it also creates more depth and complexity for the character by forcing them to take risks, learn from their experiences, and grow as people.
It’s important to understand the difference between external and internal conflict, and why each type is used in stories. Global conflict is usually impersonal, and the character’s war against the world (eg natural forces, government, police, society etc). Local conflict is the character’s internal war against something or someone they care about – their friends, enemies, family, lovers, children, work colleagues etc.
Often, conflicts are resolved by misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can be revealed through the hero’s actions, or by the use of unexpected circumstances or events.
The best way to avoid a misunderstanding is to pay close attention to non-verbal communication, such as body language. This will help you understand the other person’s true feelings and what they are saying, so you can respond in a way that builds trust, while still getting to the root of the problem.
Another way to avoid misunderstandings is by creating conflict within your characters’ beliefs, goals and wants. This can be done by having your hero form two different goals that are in conflict – if they go after one, the other must be abandoned.
This can be difficult to do, as a good hero should always know what they want and have the drive to achieve it, but it’s a crucial element in a story. If you can’t give your hero conflict, your story will be weak.
It’s not just about the hero’s goals; it’s also about their values, fears, needs, desires and attitudes. These aspects are what determine how they act and what they choose to do.
For example, if your hero’s beliefs are that nature is always going to win, they’re likely to be hesitant about trying to control it. However, they might eventually discover that it’s possible to co-exist with nature and find peace and harmony in their lives.
Likewise, if your hero’s beliefs have been affected by the loss of their family in a nuclear disaster, they are likely to be reluctant to try and protect themselves from danger. But they might also realize that if they don’t act, they could lose everything they have ever known.
They might be unwilling to compromise their beliefs or compromise their relationships with their family. But they might also be willing to fight for what they believe in.
Ultimately, conflict is a natural part of life. It is necessary to overcome your differences so you can move forward together. But if it is too hard for you, then you should seek help from others who can provide guidance and support. This can be through therapy, a counselor, or spiritual guidance.