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.
Character voice is a hard topic to master and practice. A lot of it comes down to a couple of things. One being most writers can’t seem to tell if their characters sound different. And the other is how writers see dialogue.
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.
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.
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.
Thinking about the central idea or theme in our work will help us push our stories further and make our metaphors and imagery ring truer. Themes also help the pieces of our story connect. Knowing the themes and thematic statement dominant in our story will help us make decisions about what is going to strengthen our stories and what is going to weaken our stories.
When talking about tension, anticipation comes up. Many writers don’t know the difference, but it’s an important distinction to make like all writing techniques and skills.