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Exercise Wednesday: Brawl

August 6, 2014

I don’t need the map; I’ve been there 100 times. You don’t trust me.

Unless you were a writer for Seinfeld, you’ll be told you need some sort of conflict in your story. There needs to be something driving the action–two people wanting the same thing, two desired outcomes that can’t co-exist, the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, two decidedly different outlooks on a situation.

Conflict is the oxygen of a story, what gives it life and color.

Today, we enter the conflict lab, in which two characters are required to conflict about something, but with a twist–the thing about which they conflict can’t be central to your story. That is to say, if they are both going after the same job, they should disagree about what goes on their pizza. If they hold opposite opinions on how to discipline their kid, they should disagree about politics.

The conflict can be a mask for the real conflict, or it can be real and additional to your real conflict.

The goal is to force a conflict away from the main battleground as a way to illuminate your characters, the main conflict, or both.

Time limit: 30 minutes

  1. August 7, 2014 12:31 pm

    Thanks, Chris. Don’t always have time to do these, but this prompt led to a neat flash fiction piece! Hm-m. . . Does RPLA have a Flash Fiction category?? :>)

    • Chris Hamilton permalink
      August 7, 2014 12:34 pm

      Actually, I think it does. Check next year around February.

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