Relating Characters to Conflict

Let's have a quick character development chat. A major pitfall that I've found myself in before is having characters that somehow don't relate to the conflict at all. There is a conflict, there are characters, but somewhere along the way I forgot to merge the two in a way that makes sense. So, if you're falling into the same trap, here is some help to get you through.

1. What is the lie the character believes? This question is important because it's ultimately related to how the overarching conflict affects the character.

For example, does the character believe they are alone in the world, that there is no one there beside them? That might affect how they trust. It may caused them to choose to live in isolation despite desperately wanting connection. This may cause them to push people away without even realizing.

2. What is the character's goal? Think about what the character wants or needs to accomplish in the story. Again, this will help you figure out why the conflict is so, well, conflicting for them. In the case of our figurative lonely "on purpose" character, their goal might be to literally live off the grid forever.

3. What is "The Wrench?" What is going to trip this character up as soon as things are looking up for them? This "wrench" could happen as an inciting incident or the midpoint twist, but I personally like to make it the dark night of the soul moment. Again, back to our lonely character, maybe their wrench is actually developing a relationship with a human and realizing that not everyone is going to leave them.

These three questions have helped me a lot when writing and hope they can help you too! As always, if you have any special requests, I'm happy to either talk about what I'm learning on my journey or research a topic for you all. You can leave a comment on this post or find me on Instagram or Twitter!

If you would like a way more in depth explanation of how to create a character, Liselle Sambury (Blood Like Magic) made a video on her channel! Bless authors who teach other authors, amirite? Watch the full video by CLICKING HERE and enjoy this infographic I made so you can follow along.

Until next time, writers! Bye!


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