Ideas to Add Conflict to a Story

Ideas to Add Conflict to a Story

If you're looking to add conflict to your story or throw a few problems your characters' way, I've got some ideas for you. 


Opposing Ideas, Both Valid

The protagonist wants to get things done one way. Their best friend / lover / mentor completely disagrees with their methods and wants to do things another way.

The catch is, they both make a good point.

Not only does this cause some juicy conflict but it’s a great way to explore the characters’ differing ideologies and values.

Maybe your protagonist wants to kill the dragon at all costs by burning down the mountain, but their mentor warns them to think about the mountain’s innocent inhabitants.


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You’ve Got to Pick a Problem

There are two problems to solve. The character cares deeply about both of them. But they can only solve one.

By choosing to solve one problem, they have to completely abandon the other.

Stereotypical romcom example: They want to mend their relationship. Their wife accuses them of always putting work first and they have a huge argument, almost breaking up.

But the character also has a massive issue at work that needs time and urgent attention. They have to choose which problem to solve, which shows us their priorities.


Betrayal of Self

The character knows the right thing to do, but they fear it goes against everything they believe.

They need to kill the tyrant king, but they’re a pacifist. They need to betray their sister, but they see themselves as a trustworthy person. They need to straighten their spine right now but they’re a writer (jk).

To really nail this you need to have a solid grasp on your characters. Not just who they are, but how they see themselves and what they believe.



Mismatched Sacrifice

The protagonist and their friend/mentor/whoever have just pulled off a huge task. This is the biggest challenge they’ve faced so far towards their mutual goal.

But to get this thing done, one of them feels like they’ve sacrificed more than the other, which leads to conflict between them.

For example, maybe they gave up a family member, or their health, or their power.

They feel resentment towards their friend, which complicates their journey towards their big end goal.

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