1. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Too Much Conflict? HELP!!!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SilverWolf0101, Aug 30, 2011.

    I apologize if this is in the wrong thread but it deeply effects my plot so I didn't know where else to put it. If it is in the wrong place please feel free to move it to the correct area.

    Okay so, to the main problem. I know stories are supposed to have conflict. I remember the whole conflict stuff for english and it's forms (man vs man. man vs self. etc etc). I'm also aware that stories aren't built up of one singular conflict alone, and that there may be many forms of it actually throughout a story line. To put it simply, I think I somehow managed to bite off more then I can chew. In my finished work (which I've been reworking over the past few months), I came to realize I have a lot of conflict going on. Now this might not be a bad thing, but it's starting to concern me because reading over the material and trying to work with it is starting to make my head hurt and keep me lost and confused. This is not a good sign.

    Let me break it down:

    Man vs. Man;
    This is the biggest conflict in my story. There's betrayel, war between the races, and a whole bunch of other man vs. man scenarios. It's the biggest part of the novel. (I can add more details if you like then)
    Man vs. Self;
    Another part of the novel. I have one super big main character (a princess) who's basically thrown out of her usual life and into something completely and utterly new. So as she tries to adjust, she's having a serious battle with herself. Mostly because she's part Vampire which means she has a severe blood lust if she doesn't feed.
    I also have a secondary character that's got a mvs thing going on. Cause he's in love with the Princess but fights with himself constantly about it and tries to hide his feelings yada yada yada you get the point.
    Man vs. Society;
    This novel is set back in the medieval days, when women had no rights and were property. In some of the breif moments (probably not enough to count) two of my characters, one being the Princess, fights against society's idea that women are merely property and should obey that ideal.
    Man vs. Higher Power;
    The most important conflict of the story actually. Considering the throne the Princess wants to take from her father, is the throne of the Devil. So considering the Devil is viewed as a demonic god in some cultures, I'm pretty sure this falls under this category.

    But yeah, I'm seriously lost on how to straighten out these conflicts because they constantly over ride each other and it's like a battle in itself going through the entire novel which really hinders the writing. I've tried seperating the conflicts and mapping them out to make it easier for me to see which scenes they should play in, but it didn't seem to help any. I need some help figuring these things out. Please ;~;
     
  2. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    It's good to have multiple levels of conflict going on in your story, in my opinion. Who wants to read a story where the hero is fighting towards a goal and doesn't have any emotion? Not me! I love reading a book where the hero is oppressed, betrayed, afraid, and longing for something. That makes him or her easier to relate to. I wouldn't worry too much about which method of conflict you're using in every scene. I highly doubt the reader is going to read a passage and think, "Is this a man vs. man conflict or a man vs. society conflict? I'm so confused!"
     
  3. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Oh I'm not worried about which method goes in which scene, in fact I too doubt the reader would be able to identify all the conflict types sometimes. No, what's got me worried is that at times, all these conflict types come crashing together at once and completely make a mess of the scene where they come together, and they tend to make a mess of the story.

    I'm trying to find a way to easily straighten it out, but I'm just not entirely sure how to do so. Because as it stands right now, the fact that the conflict types keep crashing sends my entire plot line all over the place and the story goes in too many different directions. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not a great experienced writer or what but I'd very much like to get this problem sorted out so I can learn how to avoid it in the future.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, it sounds like the problem is prioritisation, and I don't see why you couldn't run with that idea.

    Bunch all those conflicts together, essentially into one: the character has to try and decide which conflict is more important to them, which they have to handle first. Perhaps the Man vs. Man conflict provides the sense of urgency, but the Man vs. Higher Power provides the desire. Man vs. Self is the most driven and "logical", but also the most selfish, while Man vs. Society is the most generous, I guess you could say. It's the "greater good".

    Of course, I can't say whether that's all entirely applicable, but I'm sure it's a start. Really, though, I don't see how that's too much conflict. Maybe it's too much for you to handle? If so, there's no shame in putting the idea aside until you're ready for it.
     
  5. Lost_in_Thought
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    Lost_in_Thought Member

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    Just write it! Most stories have multiply conflicts. And if you actualy write it it could end up as a great story. If it fails just try again in a different way. My story so far has many conflicts. Just make one or two the main prioties and if the don't work well within the first few chapters then try again.
     
  6. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    The princess tries to show everyone that women are useful by taking over the throne, but she has to do it in the middle of a war, which provides much of the difficulty in the book. Meanwhile, she's struggling with her bloodlust.

    Not too complex. Harry Potter had him trying to find out about the Deathly Hallows while attempting to destroy the Horcruxes, manage Ron's lengthy disappearance, all the while struggling with the clues Dumbledore left for him, and it sold like hotcakes.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Multiple conflicts are great.

    It's only problematic if you infodump about all of them, but infodumping is a no-no anyway.
     
  8. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Maybe you should figure out what the main theme is and roll from there...? I had the same issue a while back; I was at a standstill for months because I couldn't decide which direction the story should go. So I wrote down all of the themes and main points I wanted to get across in my story overall, and then I picked the one I wanted to convey the most and pushed the scene in that direction.
     
  9. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    P.S. That's just to get something on paper. You can always go back and add stuff in later!
     
  10. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Refer to my signature.
     
  11. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I have the story written out completely from beginning to end. It's around 500+ pages right now. Also, I know the main theme of the story and I've kept to that idea when it came to it. But the main fact is that the story kinda goes all over the place.

    That's actually a good idea thanks. I might be able to organize my events to work in this manner without going too far from the original workings of the story. It's worth a try at least.

    And I don't like info dumping myself, so I try to avoid it as best as I'm possible. For most of the story you can't identify some of the conflicts until it happens.
     
  12. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Infodumping is not acceptable. It's not even an option(for good writers).
     

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