Linda Maye Adams

Is There Such Thing as Too Much Conflict?


I’m in week 3 of Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Workshop, which is to identify scenes.  That’s always been a difficult concept for me because I’ve tended to think of a scene as changing when the setting changed or the time changed.  Sort of, I guess, like in the movies (given I tried writing scripts at one point, maybe this is a reason).  Identifying the conflict of the scenes has been really challenging.  I’ve seen some recent discussions where it seemed like the individual thought conflict meant characters bickered with each other.

I’m still struggling to wrap myself around the concept and was looking around the Internet for different viewpoints of conflict.  There, surprisingly isn’t much that isn’t someone selling writing services or on one of the article farms (i.e., Suite 101, Helium).   But I did find this interesting comment from K.M Weiland’s blog:

The more conflict we pile into our stories, the more interested our readers will be. A general rule of thumb states that every page of your story should contain conflict. But, sometimes, it can be difficult to think up enough conflict to fill the nooks and crannies.

Weellll, maybe not.  I tend to take advice like this literally.  I jammed so much conflict into the story that I actually ended up not doing enough.  They all pushed each other out of the way and didn’t get developed.   So, yes, there can definitely too much of conflict.

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