Every story revolves around conflict – the struggle between two opposing characters or forces. The story begins with a character facing a problem and moves forward because the character fights against obstacles and seek out clearly defined goals.
All stories need a major conflict as well as several smaller conflicts along the way to keep the readers engaged. If nothing were happening, would it be interesting to read? Conflict drives a story by creating suspense, drama and tension. Without conflict there is no movement in the story and no narrative drive to keep the readers engaged. It is advisable to reveal the major conflict in the first chapter itself to grasp the reader’s attention.
The conflict may occur within a character’s mind or between a character and exterior forces. The main conflicts in literature are ‘man against self’, ‘man against man’, ‘man against society’ and ‘man against nature’. All these internal and external conflicts are essential elements of a storyline and they help to achieve the goal of the story. Resolution of these conflicts keeps the readers engaged and the story moving.
Remember that conflicts can be a momentary obstacle or a recurring theme throughout the story. Resolution of such conflicts creates a sense of closure in the reader’s mind. While resolving these conflicts keep certain things in mind. Don’t let the characters achieve their goals easily. To make the story gripping and entertaining, make them fall, get up and try again and again. Make the characters learn from their failures. But remember the conflict should be resolved without changing the essential trait of the character. Let the characters grow out of their flaws gradually. The more conflict the better. It is a crucial component in a good story.