7 Types of Conflict in Literature: Character vs Anything! – by Reedsy…

In literature, conflict is any struggle that characters must overcome to achieve their goal. It can be a ‘real world’ obstacle or antagonist (external conflict) or some inner turmoil that our heroes must confront before getting what they want or need (internal conflict).

As we mentioned in the previous section, all good stories are driven by conflict. By understanding what stands between characters and their goals, we can begin to grasp what their stories are about. The seven most common types of conflict in literature are:

  • Character vs. character,
  • Character vs. society,
  • Character vs. nature,
  • Character vs. technology,
  • Character vs. supernatural,
  • Character vs. fate, and
  • Character vs. self.

In this post, we will analyze these types of conflict and provide examples from the world of popular fiction. Before we get into some of the more abstract types, let’s first look at what most readers think about when they imagine ‘conflict’.

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