Conflicts in films are what make the movie interesting. It is what makes the story compelling. In screenwriting, there is a famous rule – “show, don’t tell”. A film writer cannot use too many words to explain what is happening on screen and must rely on action and dialogue to show the thoughts of their characters. Similarly, a screenplay writer needs to know how to write conflicts in their stories through dialogue, action and description.
There are two types of conflicts that writers can use in their stories: external and internal. External conflicts might be things like when one character tries to take something from another character or one person tries to prevent another person from doing anything at all. Internal conflicts can be about the main character’s mental state or feeling guilty about something they did in the past.
Conflicts are the driving force of any plot. They give context to what is happening in your story and help the audience understand what is at stake.
There are two types of conflicts: internal and external. Internal conflicts are typically experienced by a single character while external conflicts involve two or more characters or entities that oppose each other.
There is no right or wrong way to create conflicts, as long as it is meaningful for your story. It will be the most effective when it challenges characters emotionally, psychologically and physically; that leaves them feeling powerless against their challenges and fuels their desire for revenge or resolution.
A good screenplay is often the result of a great conflict. But some writers are having trouble writing a compelling conflict in their story. Here are some tips that will help you make your conflicts more meaningful and powerful.
1) Give your protagonist a goal they care deeply about, and then make it difficult for them to achieve this goal.
2) Create obstacles for your protagonist to overcome in order to reach their final goal. These obstacles can be physical, social or emotional
3) Put this responsibility on your antagonist as well – give them goals that push up against the protagonist’s goals
Some people misconceive that they know everything they need to know about plot and conflict, but the truth is that understanding a good story and being able to create an effective conflict is much more complex than it should be.
A well-known screenwriter, Syd Field, once said: “A good plot has a beginning, middle and end; it covers these three important parts of any story or film.” It’s important to mention that in order to create a meaningful conflict in your stories you need to make sure that the protagonist can be seen as the victim. Not only this, but it should also follow the Three-Act Structure; Act 1 sets up the initial stage of conflict before moving into Act 2 which is where all of the problems arise before finally concluding with Act 3 – resolution.
It’s important to remember that conflicts are the engine of your screenplay. Conflict makes your hero want something and it also causes their problems.
There are two kinds of conflict: man vs man, and man vs nature. What type you choose is up to you and depends on what kind of story you want to tell.
The conflict of a story is what drives the story forward. It should be believable and interesting.
There are two types of conflicts: internal and external conflicts. For an external conflict, there is some person, place or thing that stands in the character’s way. Internally, the protagonist has to struggle with their emotions or themselves – usually some flaw such as greed or arrogance.
“Conflict can be of any degree and kind. The important thing is that it is a problem or dilemma to be resolved, an obstacle to overcome.”
A conflict in your story can occur both between human characters, such as two people struggling for the same goal, or between a human character and an inanimate object. Conflicts are a crucial component of storytelling because they create suspense when the audience wonders how it will be resolved.
Conflicts should always arise from the internal issues of one (or more) characters – such as personal flaws, moral dilemmas, emotional baggage – rather than from external sources such as violence or drama.
A common mistake in screenwriting is to start with the conflict and then add bits of background information to make it seem more believable. In reality, you should have your protagonist’s backstory set up before you introduce the conflict.
The protagonist should be aware of the conflict before it even happens. They need to internalize the problem and this way they will face it with a greater sense of urgency and determination. It also helps make their arc more dynamic as they grow as a person throughout the course of that story. To achieve this, you can use what is called a Logline (a short summary of your film) which reveals the protagonist’s backstory while also introducing your major conflict or problem.
I am going to create an example Logline: “After one night together, two friends find out they are dating each other’s ex-spouse.”
“Conflict is the essence of drama. The highs, the lows, the twists and turns. The moment where you are up and on top of that you want to be again.”- Daniel Day Lewis
There are five approaches to write a conflict in a story:
1) Inherent conflict- This means that there is no need to explicitly mention what the protagonist’s motivation is.
2) Dramatic action- This means that every time your protagonist does something, it would be with intention, which will build up drama in the story. 3) External conflict- This means that your character has a struggle against forces outside of them like bullies or boss or people around them 4) Internal conflict- Which means that there is an inner struggle within your protagonist such as self doubt or fear 5) Balance between external and internal conflict: Sometimes you have both external and internal conflicts within one character at different times during the same scene.