How to Create Conflict in Novel Writing

How to Create conflict in Writing

There are actually quite a lot of tips and ways to create conflict in writing even novels, short stories, or comics. Even so, some story writers who are still beginners generally still have difficulty practicing some of these tips. The result, of course, is that the story conflict idea that can be presented becomes less than optimal.

Then, how exactly do you build conflict in writing an effective and interesting story?

Some Important Things As Ways To Create Conflicts in Writing

create conflict

As a story writer, of course you are required to be able to present an interesting and fun storyline to read. The storyline is impossible to be interesting without conflict. With a slightly dramatic language, conflict can be said to be the main spirit in story writing.

There are quite a number of ways to create stories that writers commonly do to explore unique and interesting conflicts. Whatever method is used, the real goal is to create a dramatization effect that is able to have an emotional impact on the reader. The greater the emotional impact on the reader, the better.

If so, then how do you create conflict that attracts readers so that they feel at home tracing word for word in the book you are writing?

So, below are some practical tips that are easy to do to build conflict in the story. Whatever form of writing you do, be it novels, short stories, comics, fables or whatever, you can apply the following tips.

1. Understanding the Importance of Conflict Writing

The first tip as a way to make a story that makes you emotional is that you must first understand that conflict is a very fundamental thing in story writing. Without conflict, the characters you are telling about will not have opponents, nor will they experience things that will awaken their characteristics. And what’s more important is; without conflict, a story will never be interesting.

There is nothing that can be developed in writing that has no conflict. A novice writer who may just enter the world of writing, must realize that conflict is part of the spirit of his own story.

The point is in this first stage; the presence of conflict is very important in the story and you should write about it.

2. Determining the Source of Conflict

In order to create a good dramatic effect, you can use various sources of conflict to develop into a storyline. You can make the character struggle with the deficient economic conditions, you can also, for example, make the character have many limitations that make him face so many challenges and conflicts.

But what you also have to remember as a way to make a good story is to determine the most crucial, most important and most significant source of conflict, it must come from the opposing character.

So the antagonist must have the greatest conflict with the protagonist. This conflict must have a more dominant intensity than other conflicts throughout the writing of the story.

3. Create Detailed and Specific Conflicts

You can’t make examples of interesting story conflicts if you create causes of conflict that don’t feel touching enough. Suppose you immediately make the protagonist and antagonist fight just because they hate each other. Story conflicts that are based solely on hatred and dislike alone are rather difficult to be used as the basis for specific conflicts.

Interesting story ideas in create conflict, for example, is to involve an element of compulsion in the main character.

For example, he is forced to compete with an antagonist because his wife was killed, because his child was kidnapped or something else. The more specific and rational the conflict elements that are built, the better it will be.

4. Make Conflicts More Personal for Main Characters

Create Conflict

After you have a general idea of ​​the conflict that will be built and where are the sources of conflict that you will write about, then you also need to know that conflicts that occur on one side must be very personal to the main character. Or in other words, the conflict that occurs in one part must really touch the personal side of the main character being told.

What’s the parable?

Let’s say you have one main character, a soldier, for example, he is summoned to the battlefield to fight with his enemies. Going to war in this context is of course a duty. So how do you make the story more personal for the soldier? For example, in one incident, the soldier’s family was killed by his enemy.

So at this point, the soldier’s going to the battlefield is not only a call of duty, but also driven by a desire to exact revenge. And that of course has a more personal value.

5. Make the Conflict Have an Emotional Impact on the Character

When you make the soldier leave for the battlefield because of duty, it will not have a significant emotional effect on him. However, when his wife is killed by the enemy, his child is kidnapped, or his parents are slaughtered by enemy soldiers, the emotional effect will be more pronounced.

You can also add an emotional effect to this step by for example having the soldier’s best friend die while fighting alongside him. The most important point for you to understand in how to develop a conflict is that the emotional effect must be strong on the character. Because if it feels emotional to the character of the story, it will also feel emotional to the reader.

6. Build Rational and Trustworthy Conflicts

In essence, the more rational and logical a conflict, the better it is. The consideration you have to make at this step is to create conflict that is logical and reasonable to accept. This necessity to create a rational conflict even applies to the writing of fictional stories whose themes may be irrational.

What’s an example?

Examples of conflict in fiction what you can make a picture of, for example, is about a goose that lays golden eggs, which is angry when its child is stolen. The goose that lays golden eggs is an irrational theme. However the goose is angry because its chicks were stolen, of course that is a plausible and believable conflict.

7. Use the Time Limited Effect

The next step to make the conflict in the story you write better is to take advantage of the effect of time constraints. Make the character or protagonist in the story have a limited amount of time to resolve the conflict.

In setting time limits on your character, you can do a lot of things that make sense and are interesting. For example, you come up with a story conflict idea that requires the character to complete an obstacle in a short amount of time, which if he can’t solve it, he will fail.

You can describe this failure in various ways, for example; if he is late then he loses, if he is late then someone he loves will die, or so on. The point is to use the limited time effect to create a more dramatic impression in the story.

8. Make Your Main Character Suffer

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Although it sounds a bit cruel, this is the formula most commonly used by fiction writers everywhere. The main character told in writing must be made to suffer, grieve, lose, be defeated and so on.

Making the character suffer in this stage is an attempt to give an emotional effect to the reader who can then feel how the character struggles to resolve the conflict.

So, the main reason for making the main character suffer in this part is to give effect to the epic struggle he does to overcome the conflict.

9. Create Totality Fighting Characters

So, the next step as a way of developing stories in writing novels that you can practice is to make the story characters have to struggle totally to be able to resolve the conflicts they face.

Don’t indulge your character by letting him do little to solve the problem. Make the conflict complicated, add a time limit, throw him into a risky problem, give him risks that have life-and-death consequences, and so on.

By showing the totality of the main character’s actions and actions in resolving conflicts in the story, you are not only able to create conflicts in interesting writing, but you will also be able to build great characters for you are telling about.

10. Perseverance and Discipline

As a final tip, and how to develop story conflict in whatever writing you do, you have to practice it as often as possible. Perseverance and discipline are the things that make a writer better than other writers.

There is not a single secret of any writer in the world that does not include persistence in it. Perseverance and discipline, hard work and never give up, are the most common secrets to success. And of course that also applies in the world of writing.


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Anton Wan Bong

I am Indonesian book writer, content writer, ghost writer, copywriters and also an email marketer. I have written 23 books, fiction and non-fiction, and thousands of articles since mid-2018 until now.

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