Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Very Short Note on Character Development

Poor internal conflict is often the nemesis of a great story line. I think the issue comes mostly from the misunderstanding of what true internal conflict really is.

Internal conflict is not something as simple as a misunderstanding, or an argument. It is a deep rooted character trait, created and cultivated in the character’s back-story. The struggle or conflict has to be overcome in order for the hero/heroine to move forward.

Examples of weak internal conflict

“I thought I saw you kiss another girl.” – Well, did he or didn’t he kiss her? One conversation between the main characters and this conflict can be resolved.

One way I’ve seen this put is, if your character were dropped off in outer space he/she would still have the same struggles to overcome.

Example: A woman mourning the loss of a child
A man betrayed by a lover
Someone riddled with guilt over a decision that ruined the life of a loved one.

These are things that cannot be resolved over a phone call. These are deep rooted conflicts that will take great sacrifice to overcome.

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