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Finding Conflict In Your Story

Authors know the importance of conflict in fiction. As you know, no story is worth reading without it. So creating realistic and significant conflicts is important. Every story can have multiple conflicts—not arguments or misunderstandings—but real issues of importance to the character. Conflicts also are both external and internal. The most dramatic are often the […]

Is A Conflict a Conflict If . . . ?

No matter how much you know about conflict,  it can still be confusing. Writers may not understand  that a problem that can be resolved by explaining  or asking the right question is not a viable conflict for a novel. Conflicts come in all sizes, and they must grow from smaller ones to bigger ones as the […]

Four Personalitiy Types For Characterization

Though I provided this information in March 2011, it’s worth reviewing again, because it provides a major way to create dynamic, three-dimensionsal characters for your fiction. When you locate the various personality types in your story,  you can build quality conflicts that catpures readers and hangs on. Though I’d studied the core personalities in my psychology […]

Difference Between Plot and Subplot

On the Writing Fiction Right blog, I often receive questions within the comments from writers, and sometimes I receive emails from newer authors asking questions. This question—What is the difference between a plot and a subplot—came to me a short time ago, and though I responded to the questioner, I decided others might enjoy an […]

Conflict = Tension = Emotion – Part II

In Part I, I defined conflicts and described the kinds. As I said, conflict is the backbone of fiction, and understanding this important element helps the author become a better writer. Hopefully I have added a few new thoughts to this blog. Nature of Conflict 1. ComplexityConflict, especially internal conflict, is complex because it tests the […]

Conflicts, hooks, characterization in a novel?

Another new author asked a very complex question about conflicts and hooks when the novel isn’t a suspense.. Most of you know the importance of conflicts and hooks in any kind of novel, but here was my response to her question—both an explanation and advice. Gail said:Your questions are so complex I’d have to write workshops for […]


Brainstorming ideas can work wonders for plots and scenes. When tossing ideas into the “hat” nothing is too silly, because even the goofy idea can trigger another great possibility. One method of brainstorming that digs more deeply into a situation is using questions to provoke new possibilities for story conflict. Once you have a basic […]

Tension and Conflict Part 3 – Kinds of Conflict

Most authors can name the two kinds of conflict talked about most in fiction, internal and external. Both of these are important to any novel, but don’t lose sight of two more that you may not have considered—inherent and extra-external conflict. These additional kinds of built-in conflict can add extra excitement to your fiction. External […]

Outlining #5 – Pacing Needs Planning

The screenwriting outline article I shared with you lists a fifth and final major point for creating a dynamic story—pacing. Pacing is not only important for screenwriting. It is vital for plotting a novel. I’ve stressed this before in other articles on writing, but this will be a good review. 5. Pacing needs to flow […]

Mind-Mapping For Plot and Conflict

Authors can purchase brainstorming programs. I purchased one and never could use it, but the Mind-Mapping site provides information and how to use mind-mapping. In my opinion, a writer can use this techniques without purchasing a program. While a program might give ??, allowing you to get the most out of your brainstorming, I think […]