External conflict is everything that happens outside of the character or to the character. Writers use external conflict to place obstacles in the characters’ paths, but they also use external conflict to color the story, quicken or slow the pace, and add diversity to the narrative structure.
Conflict can be anything that stands in the way of what a character wants. So, you can imagine there is a variety of types of conflict. Each type has a purpose and works best in certain situations in your story.
How do you write a satisfying ending? It’s such an important question to ask as a writer. When writing endings, the story idea and characters are some of the most important aspects in landing a good ending.
Creative intent or creative intention is the statement or idea that guides how we express ourselves creatively. Knowing what our intentions are as storytellers and writers, allows us to embody our stories, our careers, and our purpose in a way that moves past simply writing. It also helps us stay grounded in the world of publishing and writing.
This month we’ll go over conflict and how to use it in our stories. Conflict in a story can be easily identified as anything that goes against what the main or POV character wants. For example, stepping on a tack on the way to the fridge for a glass of water is conflict. A potential lover saying no to a date is conflict. While those are all negative examples, conflict can be positive, too.
Writers use macro tension to keep the large-scale elements of their story driving conflict and suspense. But you can also use it for things outside inducing conflict. Macro tension can also be a way for you to tease the reader about aspects of your world and to develop character relationships.
Characters fill our stories, and many writing instructors or teachers will say that characters are what drive a story and what brings readers in.
Writers use microtension to add depth to their writing and stories. Without microtension, there wouldn’t be those minuet changes in tension and atmosphere that happen throughout a great story.
Too often, writers aren’t guided or taught how to think about their careers like other professions. They are either told to teach, pursue another path, or write novels and try to reach best-seller lists, but actual professional authors live much more varied and diverse lives than those two paths.
Tension is the sense that something is about to happen, whether that be good or bad. We often think bad or negative when we think about tension. But we don’t have to. We can use tension in our fiction to build joy between friends solidifying or even mending a friendship. Using tension, we can keep our readers in our stories, wondering what happens next.