Conflict Checklist

1. A story is a narrative description of a character struggling to solve a problem. Nothing more, nothing less. Struggle means conflict.

2. In fiction, conflict almost always involves a mental or moral struggle between characters caused by incompatible desires and aims.

3.Physical action is not necessarily conflict.

4. The conflict in a story should be rooted in the mind of the protagonist; it is the protagonist's inner turmoil that drives the narrative.

5. The protagonist's inner struggle should be mirrored and amplified by an exterior conflict with an antagonist. The antagonist may be a character, nature, or the society in which the protagonist exists.

6. Eschew villains! The antagonist should believe that he is the hero of the tale.

7. Be a troublemaker! Create excruciating problems for your protagonist. And never solve one problem until you have raised at least two more —until the story's conclusion.

Chapter Ten

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