The greatest rules of dramatic writing are conflict, conflict and conflict. James Frey
Conceived in passion, labored over with tender care, wrapped in our creativity, fictional characters have a way of endearing themselves to their creators. We identify with their idiosyncrasies, want to be like them, fall in love with them. They are the very fabric of daydream, a fulfillment of fantasy, our ideal selves.
We hate to make them suffer. Continue Reading>>
Conflict in fiction is created when the main character strives to achieve a goal that solves the story problem, only to be frustrated by obstacles. The force introducing these obstacles can be internal or external. A battle rages between a protagonist and antagonist, arising from opposing motives that put them at cross-purposes with one another. This battleground exists inside or outside the main character’s being. Continue Reading>>
One of my writing retreat partners is a mental health professional with licenses that add lots of letters behind her name. While on retreat, the other writers (myself included) have been known to shamelessly pick her brain for help in developing our characters. A keen understanding of people is a job requirement for those in the mental health field, with conflict its stock-in-trade. Drafting from psychology for your writing would seem a wise choice. Continue Reading>>
Understanding the dynamics of inner conflict in psychology can help you create believable characters who tap into emotions common to us all. Portraying inner conflict believably in fiction requires that we understand its ways and means. In this article, we’ll cover the four models of inner conflict in psychology, with examples from my own writing. Continue Reading>>
Ever paint your main character into a corner? Yeah, me too. Since we are on the topic of conflict in fiction, let’s take a look at what psychologists know about how people react to conflict in real life. As we’ve done in the past several articles, we’ll apply conflict in psychology to fiction writing. I can’t promise you’ll never get stuck again, but arming yourself with information can’t hurt. Continue Reading>>