We touched on conflict briefly in Step 7; now we’re going to look at it in a little more detail so you can determine how it will affect the romance between your characters.
Let’s first discuss what conflict is not.
❤ Conflict is not fighting. Nor is it arguing, car chases or exploding bombs. It’s not an evil villain intent on destroying the protagonist.
❤ Conflict is not tension. Banter, attraction, eavesdropping on a conversation might create tension, but those situations don’t necessarily create conflict.
❤ Conflict is not the obstacles in a story. The things we put in the way of the protagonist reaching their goals are sometimes just that — obstacles. Obstacles, however, create conflict.
In order to understand conflict, it’s important to know who — or what — is causing the obstacles in your story. Obstacles arise from antagonistic sources, such as:
So, now that we understand obstacles and where they come from, what is conflict?
Conflict arises when overcoming an obstacle presents a challenge for the character.
Sometimes those challenges can be physical (external conflict arising from external sources [villain, opposition, or presence]) and sometimes they can be emotional/mental (internal conflict arising from the internal characteristics of the protagonist).
Note that if your character can overcome an obstacle easily or with minimal fuss (for example, by having a conversation), then there is no conflict arising from those obstacles. The physical and emotional struggles and difficulties your characters experience is where the conflict in your story lies.