In any story, the crucial underpinnings of conflict, tension, and pacing are bound together. Go too heavily on one aspect of the triangle, and the story fails to engage the reader. Balance the three, and the story works even if the reader doesn’t care for the writer’s style or the way they write prose.
Scenes involving conflict are controlled chaos—controlled on the part of the author.
Stories that lack conflict are just character studies.
A story that opens with a teenager leaving her parents’ home, angry, then meeting a manager on a bus and being offered a gig as lead guitar player for a big-name band, and ending on that happy note lacks conflict. It is a case of authorly wish-fulfilment.
An angry, naïve teenager and a “successful manager” on a bus…what could possibly go wrong? The roadblocks and obstacles that happen between her leaving home and finally gaining success…
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