1. Lyon06

    Lyon06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    12

    How do I add more conflict?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lyon06, Nov 7, 2018.

    I know everything about my story, how it starts, how the world works, how the magic works, the characters, the villains and almost everything in between.

    Except I'm not sure about the conflicts/obstacles between the inciting incident and the defeat of the villains.

    For context, the story is set in a world where most people have magic. The MC's name is Oren who has non-magical parents and thus assumes he also doesn't have magic, he's wrong. The gods of this world are called Primordials and they live on Earth and are the source of the humans magic. The Primordials body can be killed but the Primordial itself will eventually be reborn with a direct connection to the Ether (the Primordial's source of power). Oren is a reborn Primordial and has this connection which allows him access to any and all power, but since he didn't know he had magic he has no experience with it. The Big Bads have cut off the Primordials access to the Ether leaving them at half-power.
    (This is as comprehensible as I could make it without going into too much detail.)

    So basically, the story is following Oren as he tries to learn magic with the two Primordials who found him and attempting to find more Primordials to help them. Besides that, I don't really have much in terms of conflict or tension until the climax of the story and I'm not really sure how to fix this.

    A friend suggested I add more obstacles, but I can't really think of anything they'd have to fight against besides the Big Bad, or random animals/criminals. I mean, I know Oren's going to struggle with learning magic, and with how some Primordials treat him more like a tool that isn't working than a person. A lot of the struggles I had for the characters were more personal than anything but I'm worried about it bogging down the adventure part of the story.

    Plus, I want more external opposition, I'm just not very good at coming up with a reason for it.

    Besides the Big Bads and a few of the Primordials, I can't see why anyone would attack/interfere with them. Perhaps the humans started to get angry at them for the lack of magic? I don't know, this is very frustrating for me. I feel like I start to get an idea and then it's just gone.

    Sorry if it seemed like I was rambling, it's just this is the first story I've been really passionate about and I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to think of anything.
    Any and all help is appreciated!
     
  2. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    655
    While Oren is training with the Primordials, are there any humans who know him that could provide some form of conflict? Not combat or physical conflict, but social interactions. Does he have any friends? Any rivals?

    As a disclaimer, I tend to struggle with filling in the blanks with other sources of drama/conflict, too.
     
  3. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    4,490
    Likes Received:
    3,520
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Maybe Oren has a learning disability. Maybe he loves someone who hates magic. Maybe he's a magic klutz. Maybe he competes with a friend who's better, faster, more talented. What are his goals, inner and outer. Who are his friends. Maybe he's selfish with his magic and needs to be more giving. Maybe he's a prankser who needs to learn more respect. Just think about all the things that could go wrong with giving a boy or girl all power.
     
    Rzero likes this.
  4. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,514
    Location:
    Texas
    Someone or something could threaten his parents or someone else he loves, maybe the baddies specifically. His parents are vulnerable without magic, right? That could be a source of minor skirmishes before the boss fight, ones from which escaping alive is the only realistic goal. Maybe they even die. This would add a lot of gravity to the coming battle and further motivate the kid in his quest for mastery of the craft.
     
  5. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Assertive Neophyte Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    1,353
    There's your adventure story. Make the primordials that Oren needs help from nearly impossible to find and recruit. The conflict that arises from that quest will justify the development of Oren's abilities, and put him on course for the inevitable climax with your main villain.
     
    Rzero likes this.
  6. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,514
    Location:
    Texas
    Bingo. Each character they pick up along the way is an opportunity for a whole scene. Think "Robin Hood" or "The Wizard of Oz". One has to be rescued; one has to be defeated before coming around; One needs help with a local monster; One's lost his memory. Anything goes. Oren should probably learn different aspects of magic from each, though I imagine you probably had something like that in mind already.
     
  7. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    701
    I've got great news for you: your problem can be solved by creating random, ridiculous left field events specifically for the purpose of showcasing whatever aspect of your characters that you need to showcase. You're in a great spot.

    What I mean is, it sounds like you don't need any particular conflict, you just need conflicts in general to fill the space between the beginning and the end. That means you have the opportunity to create conflict specifically to show the reader various things. By things I mean either worldbuilding, or character growth and change. Do you need Oren to deepen his relationship with someone? Make a conflict that forces them to get to know each other. Need to showcase his heroic spirit? Engineer a conflict that puts him in a position where he can act either heroically or cowardly, and then make him act heroically. Want to clue readers in that roses are being used by the bad guys to disrupt Primordial's connection to the ether? Make one of them get sick and die while passing through a rose garden.

    You get to play mad puppetmaster now, so figure out what aspect of the story you want to show and where, and then create a conflict that forces that to happen.

    Here's some I just thought up (although I know nothing about your story except what you've written!).

    1) You decide you want to showcase the Primordial's lack of power: Oren and his primordials are adventuring, looking for more primordials, when suddenly a BODYSNATCHER comes along. Although the primordials could usually punch such a low-level creature into oblivion, they are currently at half power, and TOTALLY VULNERABLE. The Bodysnatcher knows this, and sees this as his chance to steal a literal god-body for his own devices. What an opportunity!

    2) You decide you want to showcase Oren's heroism: Oren and co. are adventuring when they stumble across a random kingdom in relative peril. From... a giant moth. The other two primordials know that this distraction isn't worth jeopardizing their mission, but Oren party member is determined to help regardless. They fight a lot until they figure out a conclusion. Character development!

    3) You decide you need Oren to learn Rank 1 Fireball: One of the party members is a jerk and gets on Oren's nerves, so he leaves the party ranting about how terrible they are. Along the way he runs into a BODYSNATCHER. At half power, the snatcher will surely take over his body. In a fit of hopelessness, Oren accidentally reaches deep inside himself and launches a rank 1 fireball, killing the beast. He spends the next two weeks trying to figure out how he did it.

    And so on and so forth!
     
  8. Lyon06

    Lyon06 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks for all your guys' responses, this is all extremely helpful! I have a lot more ideas for what to do now, I'm really excited about it!
     
    Rzero likes this.
  9. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Assertive Neophyte Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    1,353
    @Lyon06 One more bit of advice: the conflicts you choose will shape the tone and genre of your story. If you're aiming for an epic fantasy adventure story, then make sure enough of your conflict will be recognized as epic adventure. The same applies to drama, horror, romance, etc.
     
  10. Glen Barrington

    Glen Barrington Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Missisippi Valley
    Kill somebody off. Even from disease or natural causes, a death changes the balance of almost everything.
     
  11. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    843
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    The best way to add conflict is to look a character vs plot and then character vs setting.

    Example: Susan wants to be a Gladiator but in her world girls I forbidden to fight in any kind of battle even games
    That could become a conflict. So sit and think about those factors.
     
    Alan Aspie likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice