The Writing Corner: Bringing Believable Conflict to Your Fiction



Bringing Believable Conflict to Your Fiction

by Joanne Troppello

How is the conflict meter in your writing? Do you have too much conflict or not enough? How do you find the balance of just the right amount to create believable tension in your story? I was not always the best writer when it came to inserting conflict into my manuscripts. My initial stories often fell flat because although I had a good story line, I did not have the right mixture of plot plus conflict.

The good thing about bringing conflict to your story is that there is no specific right or wrong way to actually get it into your story. You just need to figure out how much is the perfect amount for your story. There are hundreds of thousands of books published every year by a variety of authors and the thing that is so unique about the situation is that every author is distinctive. Don’t copy someone else or try to model your writing after another author. Of course, you want to model your work after correct grammar and good writing skills, but to bring a believable and enjoyable story to the reader, you need to find your own inner voice.

Writing a story without conflict is pointless. The reader wants to be pulled into the story to fully embrace the protagonist’s conflict and feel his/her pain as the conflict unfolds and the character pulls through it to the end—as a new person, changed, and renewed in some way.

When we think of conflict what comes to mind? Usually we think about a fight or a war; or a sharp disagreement or emotional disturbance. We need to bring this conflict into our story but make sure the right type of conflict fits the genre of story we are writing about.

For example, if you are writing a romance, you’re not going to have a conflict that involves fighting and war. Your conflict will be emotional and between the two main characters. There will be a push and pull of this conflict throughout this story and it needs to be resolved at the end, not before.

If your genre is mystery, the conflict is the mysterious aspect of the story. There was a crime or murder and it needs to be solved by the end of the story. There are different types of mystery novels like cozies, detective, police procedural, thriller, and amateur detective etc. You need to figure out which specific genre you want to focus on and then go to town with creating and solving that conflict.

Of course, an emotional conflict can still exist in mystery novels but it is not necessarily the main conflict as it would be in a romance or a drama.

As a writer, do you find it difficult to create tension in your novels with the perfect conflict? How do you come up with the conflicts you weave into your stories? As a reader, what is one of the best books you’ve read that had a very well-written conflict and really drew you into the story?

About the Author


Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Pandora's Box Gazette.

She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs.

Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect with Joanne on Twitter and on the PBG Patreon Page.


#TheWritingCorner #NovelWriting #Novels #Fiction #FictionWriting

Young Living Banner.Lavender.jpg
Gillette on Demand.jpg
Boxed Wholesale Delivered
Ambit Energy
Finally Family Homes.LOGO.jpg
Rakuten Ebates.jpg

© Joanne Troppello and Mustard Seed Sentinel, 2019. Unauthorized usage or duplication of any content published on this website without specific written permission from the site owner is strictly prohibited. With appropriate and specific guidance, excerpts and links may be used provided full definitive credit is given to Joanne Troppello, the contributor, and Mustard Seed Sentinel. Publication start date March 2016. MSS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

DISCLAIMER: MSS reserves the right to remove comments on articles and in the forum that are not in line with our family-friendly brand and faith-based Christian magazine theme. Please make every effort to comment on articles and participate in the chat rooms in a friendly way that is devoid of profanity and hateful speech. MSS reserves the right to decline site membership (both the free membership and paid subscription membership) to any members who are violating our requests to keep this online community family-friendly. No spam links or comments will be allowed. Spam, profanity, and hateful speech will be deleted.

Freelance content submissions are always welcome and can be submitted through the submit button on the top of the Home Page underneath the header. All submissions are subject to review and possible rejection if the content does not meet quality standards. Edits may be suggested or required for some submissions. At this time, compensation is not given for submissions. However, as the Mustard Seed Sentinel readership grows, financial compensation will be provided for freelancers who submit appropriate and acceptable content for publication, such as the following: author interviews they've completed, guest blogs, or news articles. All freelancers will have their byline listed. NOTE: Mustard Seed Sentinel is a family-friendly publication and only appropriate faith-based content will be accepted.

This magazine is available for free online.

If you like our content and want to support

this publication, feel free to donate below.

Our paid subscription page is for paying members only. Engaging content, educational information, and interactive activities like webinars, as well as podcasts, are available for these paying members.

Publication of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC