The writing world used to give short shrift to emotional conflict, relying on plot to drive a story forward and keep readers interested. That doesn't fly anymore. Books that pay no attention to the emotional lives of its characters read as stilted and dry. And in genres like romance (my soup du jour), the emotional conflict makes up the backbone of the story.
We'll get to external conflict later. For now, here are some things to pay attention to when reviewing your story's internal conflict:
- Is it believable?
- Is it complicated enough to span the book, but not so complicated it can't be realistically solved?
- Does the characters' emotional journey follow a two-step-forward, one-step-back approach?l
- Does the tension increase with each emotional step?
- Does it get progressively harder for them to stay stuck?
- Is the turning point clear?
- Is the turning point realistic?
- Is the resolution realistic?