Creating Conflict in Your Novel


Conflict. Yep, I’m feeling this driver’s conflict.

This week I’ve begun writing my next novel. I’m extremely creative when it comes to the writing process. Usually I allow my stories to unfold as the characters drive their story along, although I’ve also learnt the importance of laying out core plot issues.

So, what’s one of the most important plot issues you need to consider when beginning your novel? Yes, that’s creating conflict. Here are some key pointers to guide you along the way:

  • You need to ensure your conflict is sound.
  • It needs to be paramount within your story.
  • Conflict forces your characters to act.
  • Strong conflict leads to greater opportunities for your characters.
  • And ramping up the stakes with that conflict drives your reader to care about the outcome.

Now to cover a little bit more about creating conflict.

  • Who’s your antagonist?
  • Or in some cases what’s the antagonist? There are of course stories where the antagonist becomes the obstacle the hero or heroine is trying to overcome.
  • Usually the antagonist brings the conflict to the forefront.
  • Focus on that conflict.
  • Infuse your story with scenes driven around that conflict.
  • Also, allow your characters to experience heightened emotions as they deal with the powerful conflict you’ve put in place.
  • Don’t forget increasing the stakes engages your readers.
  • It compels them to keep reading, and to find out what happens next.
  • The hero/heroine must come into contact with the conflict you’ve put in place.
  • Throw the conflict/challenge at them.
  • Force them to face their fears.
  • Allow the actions of your characters to burst off the page as they rise to the challenges you’ve set them.
  • Because higher stakes equals page-turning action.

Hopefully some of these pointers have provided inspiration. Lastly, let me share the one thing I always keep at the forefront of my mind as I’m writing. I’m actually whizzing it up into a nice graphic for those who’d like to print it off.


If you want to drop me a comment, make sure you do. Perhaps you have other pointers you’d like to add to mine. I certainly hope the ones I’ve mentioned have got you thinking. Happy writing, everyone. Create that conflict. :)

Stay safe. I’ll catch ya later.


PROTECTOR > BUY THE BOOK: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Lyrical Press / iTunes / Kobo



8 thoughts on “Creating Conflict in Your Novel

  1. I think that photo so exemplifies conflict very well! Thank you for your post, I am learning so much from you! Lots of inspiration! 🙂

  2. Solid approach, Joanne. You break it down into easily manageable ideas — I think it’s hard to look at something like “create conflict” and not think “OMG, where do I even start?” Understanding how conflict works and the elements involved is so helpful when something’s not working and you can’t pinpoint why. Great post.

    Sorry for being late to the party — I’m finally getting the chance to catch up on the things I starred to read during the week. Got my edits done. 🙂

Comments are closed.