Posted on 01/15/2022 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

You've surely watched a TV show or movie — or possibly read a book — where the violence or sexual content seemed not to drive the plot, but rather just to shock.

The same holds true for cleaner types of conflict in fiction.

Author Kathryn Craft used to believe that conflict is story.

But that's not totally accurate — relevant conflict is what drives story.

Craft offers up the example of a woman taking a flight in winter.

Sure, there's tension if you start with the plane needing to be de-iced (will they succeed in taking off?).

But if you begin the story with the death of the woman's husband, who was supposed to join her on this flight, which commemorates a milestone in their shared lives — your reader has a whole new set of stakes to consider.

Read Craft's full piece on making your story's conflict feel relevant at Writer Unboxed.

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