The 4 Different Types of Conflict in Dialogue

The Four Different Types of Conflict in Dialogue

Today, I’m guest posting over on Jane Friedman’s blog, with the post “The Four Different Types of Conflict in Dialogue.” Here’s an excerpt:

Jane Eyre: Writer's Digest Annotated ClassicsConflict in dialogue provides authors with one of their best opportunities for jazzing up their stories and powering their plots. Slow scene? No problemo. Just throw in a nice, heated little argument. What could be easier?

But conflict in dialogue is a little more complex than the Three Stooges would like us to think. If we keep it cranked into the red zone in every scene, readers will grow weary and, eventually, bored.

Conflict can be boring? Who knew?

On its surface, conflict seems to be nothing more than, well, conflict. But if you take a closer look, you’ll be able to identify four distinct types of conflict—all of which are necessary to create a strong and rounded story. To reach full effectiveness, conflict must be varied. Some of your scenes will require full-on red-zone confrontations, but others—depending on the featured characters and what is at stake for them—will be better served by the faintest undercurrent of tension.

In analyzing Charlotte Brontë’s brilliant classic Jane Eyre (which I discuss in-depth in my book Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic), I discovered four different—and equally vital—types of conflict you can use to pop your story’s dialogue right off the page.

Keep reading!

The 4 Different Types of Conflict in Dialogue

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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