Screenwriting : Creating conflict by Anne Marie Robinson

Anne Marie Robinson

Creating conflict

What are some great ways to add conflict to scenes? Any rules of thumb?

Mark Souza

Have characters interact with agendas where there cannot be a win-win outcome.

Anne Marie Robinson

Thanks Mark.

Steven P Baer

There are many aspects of conflict. First, consider internal conflict. In every scene, every character should want something. If what the main character wants goes against his/her personal values, we have an internal conflict. If there are two characters, each wanting opposing things, we have an external conflict. These are but a few examples.

Anne Marie Robinson

Thanks all! MacGuffin?

Aaron W. Miller

Simple story structure: take your lead, put her in a tree, throw rocks at the lead, get the lead out of the tree

Richard Gustason

I'm with Mark. It's got to be where there is no win-win situation. However, the conflict does need some sort of resolution.

Scott Gunn

Try placing your characters into a dilemma, where there seem to be no good answers no matter what they do.

Cory Wess

Another consideration is different points of view. A friend and I usually want the same thing. However we have such differing points of view that we argue all the time and we're both on the same side! :( POV can be a man is telling his girlfriend about a bad experience with another person that day. She instead relates to this other person and thinks her boyfriend is insensitive, perhaps because of a continuing issue she has with him. Boom all her issues get emotionally bonded to this situation, but for him they are all separate and distinct. Her: "Why are you such an insensitive jerk?" Him: "WTF is your problem?"

Anne Marie Robinson

This is all really helpful. Thanks.

Marvin Willson

The best advice I've heard is "I came here for a fight". "Oh no you didn't"' If a scene has no conflict, make your characters ask questions.

Anne Marie Robinson

That's a great piece of advice! Thanks for sharing.

Brian Wareham

Motivation!. The characters need to know why they want what they want. Even if character development or story development proves them wrong in the end, the character should have some reason for being and doing, which allows for real conflict when agendas collide.

Dave Bazan

The creator and writer of Mash... I forget his name, said, "Always put your characters in the last place on earth they want to be."

Dave Bazan

No Problem, If my limited skills can help you with something let me know.

Anne Marie Robinson

Great advise! thanks all.

Jana Lee

"The Women" is nothing BUT conflict. Have you watched it recently? I think nothing beats really sharp, deadly wit, because the other characters all react in different ways.

Jana Lee

The 1939 version.

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