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How to Write Internal Conflict in Fiction: Really Useful Links by Amanda J Evans

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Amanda J Evans

Amanda J Evans

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In this week’s column, the focus in on how to write internal conflict in your novel. In fiction, this refers to your character’s internal struggles and deals with emotional problems. This is an important aspect of any story and the links I’ve chosen this week offer great tips and advice on how to get this right. If you want readers to really connect with your characters and ensure your characters are fully formed, internal conflict is a must have.

  1. https://www.well-storied.com/blog/how-to-craft-riveting-internal-conflict-for-your-story – How to Craft Riveting Internal Conflict For Your Story: This is a post from Well-Storied and you can read it or listen to it on their podcast. The article begins with an explanation of what internal conflict is along with the common triggers. It then moves on with some great examples of internal conflict from popular novels. The next section looks at how to use internal conflict successfully before finishing up with a section on how to intertwine internal and external conflict.
  2. https://lisahallwilson.com/3-tips-on-writing-internal-conflict-with-emotional-punch/ – 3 Tips on Writing Internal Conflict With Emotional Punch: This second link talks about how internal conflict can be central to well written stories and provides some great examples of how good it can be. There’s a section explaining what internal conflict looks like followed by the emotional layers that you might use for your internal conflict. The final section is about why subtext is need for good internal conflict.
  3. https://www.livewritethrive.com/2017/08/31/5-ways-to-create-strong-internal-conflict/ – 5 Ways to Create Strong Internal Conflict: This article begins with a section on why internal conflict is useful in stories and provides five way that you can add internal conflict to your fiction. These include making a character contradict their belief system, having characters act against their morality and ethics, giving characters a confidence crisis, and embarrassing or shaming them into making bad decisions. There are some great examples included in this article to give you a real sense of writing internal conflict and getting it right.
  4. https://www.authorlearningcenter.com/writing/fiction/w/creating-conflict/2912/conflict-101-internal-conflict—article – Conflict 101 : Internal Conflict: This article from the Author Learning Center looks at what internal conflict is before providing examples of internal conflict and the five main triggers used to create it. These include desire, need, duty, fear, and expectation. There’s a section on how to add internal conflict to your story and a final section on how internal and external conflict work together. These is some excellent advice here and a must read for those looking to add to their story.
  5. https://www.ian-irvine.com/for-writers/create-inner-conflict/ – 33 Ways to Create Inner Conflict: This article is from international bestselling author Ian Irvine and is a brilliant read. It looks at why internal conflict is a vital part of fiction, what it is and how it captivates readers, how to create powerful inner conflict in your characters, and how best to show internal conflict on the page. It also offers a list of 31 other ways that you can create inner conflict. This is a long read and it covers everything you’ll ever need to know about inner conflict.
  6. http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/11/find-your-plot-fridays-forcing-issue.html – 5 Ways to Add Internal Conflict to Your Scenes: This article discusses how strengthening internal conflict in scenes can pull your readers deeper into the story. The author then offer five ways that writers can add internal conflict into their scenes. These include forcing the character to make a choice they don’t really want to make, getting characters to go against their belief systems, making your characters fail, and forcing them to do something they will regret. There are some examples included too.
  7. https://writersinthestormblog.com/2016/08/using-internal-conflict-to-create-plot/ – Using Internal Conflict to Create Plot: Internal conflict can be used to help with plot and the author of this article explains that behind all good internal conflict is fear or trauma. When using this for plot there are a number of questions you can ask such as what your character’s greatest fear is, how they got it, how the fear causes the character to make bad decisions, and what situations you can include in your story to make them face their fear. There are more questions included in the article along with an explanation as to why asking these questions works.
  8. https://industrialscripts.com/internal-conflict-examples/ – 10 Fantastic Internal Conflict Examples: My final link this week comes from Industrial Scripts and while it is focused on movie scripts it is a fantastic resource for examples of internal conflict done right. Examples include Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and there are videos that demonstrate everything too. This is a definite must read if you want to see internal conflict in action.

I hope you’ve enjoyed all the links this week and are getting ready to practice all the advice given. If there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.

(c) Amanda J Evans

www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans

About the author

Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author of YA and Adult romance in paranormal and fantasy genres. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of love and magic thrown in too. Her books have all won awards and her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, won the Book of the Year Award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018. Amanda has been featured in a number of poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2018 including A Bowl of Irish Stew, a charity anthology for Pieta House and her short story Moonlight Magic was included in the Owl Hollow Press Anthology, Under the Full Moon’s Light, published in October 2018. Amanda is currently polishing her novel, Winterland, which will be submitted to agents and publishers in 2019, and is also working on a Bronte inspired story for an anthology due for publication in 2020. Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans

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