Conflict and Composition

Conflict is born through character and needs to be fully explored. You may have a good idea of what you would like to happen in your story. Usually, a vision of the ending is what helps the story emerge from the ether into your pen. But understanding how your characters got there is a different matter altogether.

We’ve all heard that as we must “kill our darlings.” This is generally good and sound advice. Just because we want to include something in our stories does not mean that it helps the delicate balance of the composition as a whole. And that is why it is absolutely necessary to understand your characters’ motivations. If the motivations make sense, so will your conflict. Otherwise, the story and all its components can fall flat.

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