How to Identify a Conflict Within a Story

A good story requires conflict, which is the point in the story when the protagonist runs into obstacles. There are many types of conflicts that can take place in a story, including conflict within a person, conflict between characters and conflict with the environment. Even if the reader is not familiar with conflict within a story, there are ways to determine what the conflict is.

Identify the protagonist of the story. This is the main character, who the story revolves around.

Find out what the protagonist's goal is. The protagonist's goal is usually revealed in the first act of a story. Once the protagonist's goal is determined, it is easy to find the conflict. Sometimes the protagonist's goal is to get a person to fall in love with him, to achieve something or to get to a particular place.

Identify what or who is coming between the protagonist and his goal. If the goal is to get somewhere, and there is a huge storm, then it's a conflict. If the goal is to get a person to fall in love with him, and another person gets in their way, then that's a conflict. Sometimes a protagonist creates conflict within himself. If the protagonist wants a certain person to notice him, but is unable to make a move due to insecurity, then it is an internal conflict.


About the Author

Megan Richardson began her career as a freelance writer and editor in 2009. She has experience in public relations and event planning, and she worked as a writer's assistant to a published author for more than a year. Her work has also appeared in "The Daily Sentinel." Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University