Writing About Conflict – How to Avoid Common Pitfalls


Conflict is an essential part of most stories, from fiction to real life. It’s what drives the plot forward, keeps readers on edge of their seats, and helps characters grow and change. Conflict makes your story more interesting and compelling, but it can also be dangerous if handled incorrectly. Here are some tips to help you avoid common pitfalls when writing about conflict.

The most important thing to remember about conflict is that it isn’t the same as conflict resolution. Conflict resolution deals with resolving the dispute and moving on from it. Conflict resolution is a long process that involves working with your opponents to find a mutually beneficial solution. This involves finding common interests, setting aside emotions, and taking time to discuss the issue calmly.

Often, when people are dealing with a conflict, they don’t take the time to explore their own and their opponent’s interests. This can lead to an ineffective discussion, which can result in more tension and conflict in the future. When a dispute arises, it’s a good idea to make a list of the interests involved and see what positions are best for each interest.

For example, if someone is in a disagreement with their boss over work hours, it’s important to look at how the two parties’ interests may overlap. The employer might be interested in getting the best work possible, while the employee might be more concerned with balancing family life and professional goals. In this case, it might be helpful to set up a meeting where everyone can voice their concerns and come up with a solution that works for both parties.

Another common type of conflict is the person vs. person conflict. This is when one person’s goal or belief system stands in direct opposition to another person’s. This can be seen in many movie and book franchises, such as Spiderman vs. Doctor Octopus or the Pevensie children vs. the White Witch.

This type of conflict can be difficult to resolve, as it can lead to emotional outbursts and personal attacks. It’s important to remain calm and listen, so that you can understand the other person’s point of view. If you’re unable to come up with an agreement, it might be wise to seek mediation or arbitration.

When you’re creating a fictional conflict, it’s helpful to think about how it would play out visually. This is especially important for novels and short stories that might be made into movies, as you’ll want to be sure the conflict will translate well on screen. For example, the character Katniss fighting for her life in The Hunger Games is an excellent example of a dramatic and exciting conflict that can be seen on screen.

Adding conflict to your story is a great way to keep your readers engaged. Readers love to watch their favorite characters face and overcome opposing forces. However, it’s important to use conflict effectively so that the story doesn’t get stale or boring. Using different types of conflict can help to keep your readers engaged throughout the entire novel.