How to improve our writing? – part 7

How to improve our writing? – part 7

The miracle of the conflict:

At the core of all proper stories there’s a conflict. For, after all, who could resist yawning while listening to or reading to the end a story where all characters are fulfilled and helpful, everybody agrees with others about everything and the all their deeds are directed by the best of intentions. We would take delight in such a story, yet, it would drive us into sleep. Why?

If a fictional character, be it comic or dramatic, does not need to wrestle with any conflict, that character cannot grow, cannot change. Without transformation, our character will be plain, dull and mediocre. As writers, our task is to make sure that, when two characters get in contact in any form, perchance they make conversation with each other, they have a disagreement about something, be it the most trivial of things. The tension arising out of the disagreement and the associated conflict make it easier for the writer to reveal the true disposition of the character. If a character, for example, has a tendency to fury, and in such a state would throw chairs, or, if the character is less aggressive but more neurotic, would silently wring hands, these traits would not manifest themselves if the same characters take part in a week’s meditation in Tibet, practicing spiritual peace and a full acceptance of each other.

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