For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.
Today’s tip – Create Conflict
Source – How to Write a Short Story – The Ultimate Guide to Putting It All Together, In Your Head And On the Page, a Sparknotes book by John Vorwald and Ethan Wolff
Once you have a germ of an idea for your story, you’re ready to figure out what the conflict is. Conflict is the opposition of people or forces against one another. That opposition can take many forms in fiction: it can happen between people, over ideas or feelings, or from natural or manmade circumstances.
Conflict is essential to short stories because it will spawn your story’s central problem and provide obstacles for your character to overcome before resolving that problem. Conflict activates your characters and creates the tension that engages the reader. When you write a short story, you select and dramatize a defining moment or event in a character’s life. That event create change – change in the character, his or her circumstances, and/or his or her life. For that change to occur, your character will have to confront a problem or crisis.
Germ – Conflict – Characters…. that’s really all there is to a story. The rest is all gravy.