June 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm #38231
Hey guys, do you have any advice or instruction on what to do when you’ve figured out your characters inner conflict but can’t think of an outer conflict to go with it? I know that inner conflicts and outer conflicts should be intertwined with one another, and that solving the outer conflict is what pushes them to solve the inner conflict.
Maybe I just need to spend more time thinking about this, but I just can’t seem to figure out the outer conflict.
What do you think?
(I don’t really know who to tag, so if any of you think of someone who might have a good answer I would really appreciate you tagging them! 🙂 )
"Where there are dreary streets come dance with me"June 7, 2018 at 2:27 pm #38233
By outer conflict, do you mean plot?
Also, by “character”, do you mean your main character? Villain? Side character?
Trying to understand so I can answer better. 😉
INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.June 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm #38234
@elizabeth Ah, sorry! I’m not very good at explaining things.
Yeah I guess outer conflict is the same thing as plot. 🙂 And by ‘character’ I mean any character, but more specifically my protagonist. Is there anything else I can try to explain better?
"Where there are dreary streets come dance with me"June 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm #38239
Nope, that works. Thanks for clarifying.
So the one thing I can tell you is that in order to create conflict, you need to make sure that your characters have variety between them. By that, I don’t mean that your characters can’t all have red hair and blue eyes. I mean that they need to be different–different careers, different families, different places in society. When differences resonate against differences, conflict forms on its own. People don’t like it when others aren’t like them.
In order to strengthen that conflict, your characters need to have–or think they have–an advantage over others. Say your villain is a ruthless political leader who thinks he can treat his subjects any way he wants. That’ll cause conflict real quick–either that, or an uprising.
Having an advantage over someone is a dangerous thing, because it can turn into a prideful spirit pretty quickly. As soon as someone begins to think that they’re better than everyone else, their outer conflict turns into an inner one, which can cause a whole other set of problems.
I hope you see what I mean. No one event should cause immediate conflict; rather, conflict should spring from your characters–heroes, villains, and the like–interactions with each other. The story will move if you let your characters speak for themselves, and let their personalities, including their flaws, show.
INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.June 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm #38241
@elizabeth Hmm, so conflict comes from differing opinions or beliefs? No wonder I was stuck! I’ve only really started to flesh out a cast of characters and right now it’s only my MC and her brother that I understand. So when I start to explore other characters who’s beliefs or goals are different, that’s where my conflict (plot) is?
"Where there are dreary streets come dance with me"June 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm #38243
Exactly. Smaller conflicts can come from two or more characters, but the really big, plot-shaking conflicts come from all different sides. Make sure you know a lot about even your smaller characters, because that’ll help you later on!
INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.June 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm #38245
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