Welcome to Day 3 of the A to Z Challenge
Many bloggers have chosen a theme for the A to Z. My pledge since becoming a blogger is to post about writing, so for this event, I will being posting about what I've learned about writing a novel.
C is for conflict: a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife: discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition, as of interests or principles. (Dictionary.com)
Conflict is the essence, the very heart of a novel. A story must open with it, sustain and deepen it, and end it with a clear resolution. Conflict should be rich and highly involving. It should be layered in order to raise questions and must be felt deeply for all those involved. It should be unavoidable and inescapably true.
There are two levels of conflict: inner and outer. The outer conflict is the action, the motion, and the goal. The inner conflict is the reaction, the emotion, and the growth. While the outer conflict is what physically propels the story, it is the inner conflict that allows the reader to bond with the story. It is the inner struggle the protagonist brings with him into the story before the narrative even begins. It’s what is holding him back. The inner conflict is the product of the plot.
In my novel, the conflict is like a long rope hanging off the side of a skyscraper with all the characters hopelessly lost and stranded at different floors. As the story progresses, more and more characters jump onto the rope, trying to escape their dire fate. You don’t know how much more these characters can possibly bear as the rope stretches and becomes more and more taut, fraying and unraveling as the end draws near.
What is the conflict like in your story?