To sustain you through your story, however many words that may be, the conflict has to be pretty strong.
By strong, I mean that there shouldn?t be an easy way out of it. From wherever the conflict may arise, from the character?s mind, or from something or someone else, there should be too much at stake for the character - Which doesn?t allow him to reach a decision or can't perform an action and thus resolve the conflict.
Because the conflict is what?s pulling your story through, once solved your story ends. So you don't want it solved too soon because everything then will be an anti-climax.
Your aim is to engross your readers in your story, involve them in the problems of the character, have the character struggle, and then resolve the conflict. If your story is aimed at 5,000 words say, then the conflict should be resolved at the end of those 5,000 words.
But how do you prevent the character from solving the conflict?
Easy. Make things harder for him. Your character will have a goal and the conflict is the reason why he can't reach it, so don't let him reach it straight away ? make his goal unreachable by placing obstacles in his path.
Yes. Problems. Keep piling on the problems so in the character?s mind and readers? minds the goal will be unreachable and the conflict unsolvable. This way you create suspense.
Let me give you an example?
A young couple fall in love and wish to marry but their families are opposed to the union. For whatever reason, the families have been enemies for years.
What's the couple?s goal? They want to get married
What's their conflict? Their families don't see eye to eye.
Can this conflict be resolved straight away? No. Because there is a long history of hatred which goes back many years.
This is a strong conflict because it doesn?t seem like it can be resolved straight away. You can't wipe out years of hatred with one conversation nor can you bring families together every easily who don't wish to become related ? what?s more the hatred will grow fiercer because of this new occurrence.
How can I make things worse for my main characters? I?m going to place more obstacles in their path so their goal to marry will seem unreachable.
o Have their families send them away
o Have the young couple secretly go to a priest who turns them over to their families
o Or whatever it takes to keep my story running.
Or depending on what type of story I want to write with this basic plot, I might even turn my main characters against each other. I might have them begin to question whether their families are right.
And I will keep making things harder for them till it?s time to reach the end where the conflict has to be resolved one way or the other (to the main characters? liking or not).
Do whatever it takes and is logical for your story to make your conflict last until it?s time to solve it.
About the author:
Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers funny stories. Visit http://www.we-recommend.com
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