Conflict

Inspiration

Six Ways to Add Stakes to a Mystery

Three Lego figures dressed in detective costumes. Mysteries are great fun, but even a murder case doesn’t create much tension by default. If someone’s dead, the worst has already happened to them, and getting justice isn’t typically urgent. Plus, whatever the villain wants to accomplish by the murder is usually unknown in … read more »
Storytelling

How to Pace Your Story

A surfer and swordfish fly out of a book's pages While stories use multiple methods of engaging audiences, conflict and tension are probably the most essential for longer stories. What we call pace is the timing and intensity of that conflict and tension throughout. A pace that’s too low will put an audience to sleep, … read more »
Q&A

How Do I Make a Verbal Conflict Exciting?

questions and answer talk bubbles  What are the best ways to do verbal climaxes, and what are some good examples thereof? I want to write a story where the climax is a conversation between two characters to uncover the truth, or a detective’s denouement, or a courtroom cross-examination ending in … read more »
Podcast

274 – Making Conflict Matter

The Mythcreant Podcast You’ve done the work of adding sword fights, epic battles, and dramatic arguments. Your characters always have something they want, no matter how minor the scene. And yet, you’re still having difficulty making readers care. Congratulations, you’re having difficulty making your conflicts matter, and you’re … read more »
Storytelling

Five Common Reasons Tension Is Missing

kitten yawning over book You’ve added lots of conflict to your story, but readers are still telling you it’s boring. What gives? Unfortunately, a number of different things can cause this problem. To help you troubleshoot, let’s go over some common reasons that tension might be missing.