Conflict Challenged by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Conflict.  It's everywhere we look and part of our lives whether we want it to be or not.  But when it comes to creating conflict in a character, my first tendency is to run and hide.  Have the character go to a "safe place".   I like my characters.  I don't want awful things to happen to them.   Why can't they live in ignorant bliss, happily ever after?

    Probably because it isn't much fun to read a story like that.

    It's a struggle for me to write conflict in my current WIP..   Here's where you come in.   What are your tried and true tips/tricks for creating conflict?    How do you throw your characters under the bus for the sake of the story?  Do you have a formula that works for you?

      I want to help my characters in my current manuscript live up to their full potential.  To experience ALL life has to offer, even the ugly, uncomfortable aspects.  Any suggestions?


  1. Try internal conflict. Conflict from the main character. How is that person lying to himself / herself? Also, try Truby's ANATOMY OF STORY.

  2. There's the age old writer's question: "What's the WORST thing that can happen to my character now." Write that.

  3. Thanks Laurie and Holly...both helpful approaches for me as I dive into the last 1/3 of my WIP.

  4. I'm sooooo with you, Darlene, on resisting conflict, both in life AND in the stories I write - and even in the stories I read. But I will Heed Holly and Laurie and force myself into the danger zone for me and my characters.

    1. Nice to know I'm not alone. Maybe your "breaking rules" scenario would apply to main characters...


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