1. WriterIan
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    WriterIan New Member

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    Types of Conflict That Define Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WriterIan, Nov 2, 2008.

    actually I think your a little off in Conflict. You made it complicated.

    For others my verision of Conflict

    Character vs Self
    Character vs Society
    Character vs nature
    Character vs man

    Simple, no?
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Don't forget: Man vs Machine (A personal favorite).
     
  3. WriterIan
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    WriterIan New Member

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    I think the four I posted were the four main/most used types of conflicts. Sorry

    Character vs Self
    Character vs Society
    Character vs nature
    Character vs man
    Character vs machine
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I moved these to a separate thread, as it was taking off on a tangent from the stickied topic.

    I'm not sure what the first post here was referring to. though. My original list contained only three conflict categories:
    As for Man vs. Machine, that could be Man vs. Man (e.g. human vs robot), or Man vs. God (e.g. freeing oneself from technological tyranny; or trying to get that ^%%*&^ lawnmower to start).

    The categories reaqlly aren't important, though. The main thing is to identify the conflict and use it to drive the plot.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...there are really only 3 basics:

    man vs man
    man vs god
    man vs self

    Character vs Self
    Character vs Society = man vs man, as society is made up of fellow men
    Character vs nature
    Character vs man
    Character vs machine = 'man' if man-made and/or 'nature' if other-controlled' such as by some 'godly type power
     
  6. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    That seems terribly oversimplified.

    Besides, every conflict would have aspects of all three. It's just a vague, irrelevant attempt to present a broad complex concept in a nice little package.

    It's like saying "people are divided into two categories: those who squeeze toothpaste from the top of the tube, and those who squeeze from the middle" - it might be true, but it's intrinsically useless.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The categorization IS useless, except as a reminder of sources of conflict a writer can make use of in developing a plot. Conflicts may overlap and reinforce one another, but each aspect can still be considerred separately from a plot development perspective. For instance, a man being pursued by a dangerous felon is dealing with the Man vs. Man scenario, yet may also be struggling with his own inner conflict (Man vs. Self) over whether he can kill another human being to save himself. Man vs God may also enter into it if he is religious. But to consider each aspect separately is valuable to the writer, because acting to resolve one aspect may exacerbate the others. Therefore, one of the interwoven plots (conflicts in action) may be levelling while another is hitting a crescendo.

    Most people will rely on intuition to develop the plots, but the strong writer will be aware of each event's impact on each of the conflicts that are currently relevant, and make adjustments to orchestrate the level and quality of the tension in the story.
     
  8. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    'Ello, sorry if these ideas were said before or absolutely have nothing to do with thread. I try my best, not to be mentally problematic though, to give some plot conflicts. I'll try not saying these are the greatest.
    How about:

    Power v.s. power [two political parties going at each other]
    Man v.s. power [man goes against a corrupt political party]
     
  9. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    How can there not be Man V Killer Aliens! (not really man v man, or nature)

    Stupid funny-ness behind

    Conflist is forgever changing, to pinpoint it would be hard, and there could easily be more than one real (and sub) conflicst all going off at once.
    Another way of putting man v man/society
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The first one is technically valid, but conflict needs to be from the perspective of a character, so the first term should be Man (even if it's a woman or genderless).

    Man vs Power can be treated as Man vs. God.

    Again. the exact cateforization is less important than being to point out a conflict a character is faced with

    For my part, I usually ony care about this classification:
    Internal conflict (Man vs. Self).
    External conflict (a struggle against any external opposition of constraint).

    In most crises, both internal and external conflicts play a part. Internal conflict is more associated with character growth.
     
  11. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Man vs. Man: robots, government, aliens, whatever acts in an intelligent manner that somehow challenges the character.

    Man vs. Self: drug addiction, insanity, tough decisions, anything that is a fight within.

    Man vs. Nature: God, universal power, hurricanes, Poseidon, volcanoes, anything acting from the natural world or that is acting from beyond human comprehension.
     
  12. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    Protagonist vs antagonist

    over simplified :D
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    perfectly put, dg!
     

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