I’m guessing a lot of you know about the types of conflict. I’m talking person vs. person, person vs. nature, person vs. self and person vs. society. Okay, got those? Now throw them out the window. It’s not that these aren’t useful, but we aren’t in English class and we don’t need to adhere to strict formulas. We are writers after all, and thinking with this four-type system leads to 1)writing ourselves into corners, 2) trying to stick to a single type of conflict, and 3) forgetting about all the other conflicts out there!
Okay, so when we are thinking about our protagonist and our plot, what fits and what doesn’t? What sort of obstacles are there to the protagonist achieving their goal (aka, what stands in the way of the plot being completed)? For my character, it is being sheltered from a wider truth – that her society is not the end-all-be-all, and that she has to grow up and work with different types of people to achieve her goal. Those are stumbling blocks, but with a little work they can be molded into some great conflict.
So have at it. Go make your conflict!
Next time: Schedule yourself