C is for Conflict
My theme for the A to Z challenge this year is Storytelling. I'll be writing posts on what I think you need to create a good story; the posts will vary from basics that all writers use in their stories, to themes/tropes that I love to see in stories that I read, and that I use when I write.
C is for Conflict
Another thing that is absolutely essential in storytelling is conflict; without it, a story is boring. It has no teeth. Conflict is basically anything that stops a character from getting what they want, and this, as the author, is our goal. If you're writing a story and your character gets everything they want without having to work for it, you've got no conflict.
Conflict keeps the reader hooked; they'll keep reading, wondering if the characters will ever get what they want, what will happen if they do, and which characters will triumph and which will fail.
It can come in many forms; the main kind of conflict you'll have will probably be between your protagonist and your antagonist, as each stops the other from attaining their goal. This is known as an external conflict. This drives the plot; in the end, one of the characters will (usually) win out over the other, finally ending the conflict.
An internal conflict is something within the character that stops them from achieving their goal, like a character flaw. These are great when used properly; the character is stopping themselves from getting what they want. For example, the main character in the novel I'm planning at the moment doesn't trust anyone, and because of that he tends to charge into situations without asking anyone for help, therefore stopping him from achieving his goal. He needs to learn to trust people before he'll be able to get what he wants.