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Plotting Along for the Ride: Central Conflict


Now that we’ve discussed the 9 basic conflicts, we can move on to one of the most critical elements of any good story. A central conflict. While a story can have many conflicts scattered throughout, a story must have a central conflict to drive the story forward.

A well-crafted conflict can make or break a plot, so it's important to spend time developing a compelling one. A conflict is essentially the problem that drives the plot forward and makes the story interesting. It can take many forms, from a character's inner struggle to an external battle with an antagonist. Whatever form it takes, the conflict needs to be interesting and engaging enough to keep readers invested throughout the story.

Before you start writing, take some time to brainstorm different conflict ideas. Consider what themes you want to explore, what characters you want to create, and what kind of world you want to build. Think about the problems your characters might face, both internal and external, and how these conflicts might play out over the course of the story.

When considering conflicts, try to avoid cliches and tired tropes. You want to create something fresh and exciting that will keep readers engaged. For example, instead of using the tired old "good versus evil" conflict, think about ways to make the conflict more nuanced and complex. Maybe the protagonist is struggling with a personal demon that makes it hard for them to do the right thing, or maybe the antagonist is motivated by a deep-seated fear or insecurity that makes them more sympathetic.

Once you have a few conflict ideas in mind, start to develop them further. Think about how the conflict will play out over the course of the story and what kind of obstacles your characters will face along the way. Consider what kind of stakes are involved in the conflict, and what the consequences of failure might be. This will help you create a sense of urgency and tension that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

It's also important to think about how the conflict will be resolved. Will the protagonist succeed in overcoming their inner struggles, or will they be defeated by the antagonist? Will the resolution be satisfying, or will it feel cheap and unearned? Make sure to spend time thinking about the resolution of the conflict, as this is often what readers will remember most about the story.

As you develop your central conflict, keep in mind that it's okay to change and refine it as you go. Don't be afraid to make adjustments if something isn't working or if you come up with a better idea. Writing is a process, and the plot often evolves as you go. Trust your instincts and let the story take you where it wants to go.

A strong central conflict is essential for any good plot. Spend time developing compelling conflict ideas that are fresh and engaging, and consider the themes, characters, and world you want to create. Develop the conflict further, consider the obstacles and stakes involved, and think about how the conflict will be resolved. Remember that writing is a process, so don't be afraid to make adjustments and let the story evolve naturally. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to crafting a plot that readers won't be able to put down.

While you're here, please make sure to check out the ongoing romantic thriller Fire in the Mountains. It's an ongoing serial story over on Kindle Vella. While you're there, give it a follow and a thumbs up so you know when new episodes are published!


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