From the fantastic Axletree Media Blog! axletree.am/blog
Think about every good story you have watched or read. Now think about the main character for a few moments. Inevitably, once the character has been established and the audience feels empathy for her/him and the character has identified the thing he or she wants, a little time goes by and BAM! Something goes wrong. Not just a little wrong. A lot wrong.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce conflict into your story.
Conflict is crucial to every story. Why? Because conflict establishes a few things about your narrative.
First of all, conflict adds value to the thing the protagonist is seeking. If everything is easy to acquire, then there isn’t much value to anything. People don’t climb Mt. Everest because it’s the tallest mountain on the planet. They climb it because it’s hard. And because it’s hard, standing on the peak looking out across the horizon is that much sweeter.
Second, conflict is a storytelling device used to pull your audience through the narrative. If the audience is empathetic toward the lead character, then the audience will be sitting on the edges of their seats waiting to see if the character succeeds… instead of playing Angry Birds on their phones.
Third, and probably most important, conflict defines the resilience of your lead characters. How badly do they want to win? What are they willing to endure to succeed? Do they pack up and head home at the first sign of trouble? Or, do they put themselves through a grueling saga to come out on the other side victorious? Things worth having are worth being hard to get.
Finally, it is conflict that refines us, develops and shapes us and turns us into better people. Ever known someone who completely turned their life around for the good and didn’t have a struggle to get there? Me either. I believe James 1: 2-4 sums it up nicely:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Go live good stories.