What’s the Central Conflict of your Novel? Keep it Center Stage – by Becca Puglisi…

on Anne R Allen:

“Conflict in Every Scene”

We’ve all heard this advice, and for good reason. Your protagonist has a goal—hopefully, an audacious and high-stakes goal that is difficult to achieve. “Difficult” is important. It’s one of the qualities of a highly engaging story because the harder the goal is to reach, the less certainty readers have that the protagonist will be ok. They’ll find themselves wondering: Will the hero win in the end? Can they overcome the odds? Will they be able to make the necessary internal growth for them to succeed?

To maintain this level of reader empathy and engagement, the conflict has to come hard and fast. There needs to be hardship in every single scene. Some of that strife will relate directly back to the story goal. This will be in the form of obstacles, adversaries, setbacks, and disappointments that push the character farther from their objective.

But not every conflict has to do with the overall goal. Some of it relates to an important subplot that’s impacting a key story player. And then you have inner conflict. This conflict exists solely within the character as they struggle with various aspects of personal evolution and internal growth.

As you’re drafting — as the story progresses and the protagonist’s difficulties compound — there’s always a risk of the central conflict getting muted or lost in the noise.

Too much conflict, or certain problems getting a disproportionate chunk of airtime, can lead to pacing issues and confused readers who aren’t sure what the character is working toward. Keeping the core plot and central conflict should be your main focus. That’s the best way to ensure that everything you add to the story is leading to that eventual climax.

How do we do that exactly?

Continue reading HERE

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