Create an Interesting Problem or Conflict in Your Plot

What is Plot?
A story’s plot is like a road map which takes the story from point A to point B.roadmap

Plot is what happens in the story (events) and the order in happens in as in first, next and last.”


What’s Movement in Plot and the 5-Part Elements?
A typical plot moves in threes: the beginning, the middle and the end. Within these, the 5-part elements move from the:

  1. Exposition to the
  2. Rising Action to the
  3. Climax to the
  4. Falling Action to the
  5. Resolution

Diagram 1 shows how to get your story from point A to point B, and what you must include.

Diagram 1

5partplotThe Plot is Not the Story
To have a story, there must be a problem or a conflict.”

We will focus on the problem or conflict first.


The Problem or the Conflict
These are some common problems or conflicts you can create in your story.

  1. A character (a protagonist e.g. an old man) against another character (an antagonist e.g. a young man)
  2. A character (e.g. a man) against nature (e.g. a tsunami)
  3. A character (e.g. a lady) against own character (e.g. himself/herself)
  4. A character (e.g. a man) against his own creation (e.g. a robot)


What’s an Interesting Problem or Conflict?

Your story must have an interesting problem or conflict that will drive the story forward.

I’ll show you what an ‘uninteresting’ problem or conflict is, followed by an ‘interesting’ one.

Let’s assume the topic is: An Unexpected Event
The picture given is the one of the man here.
The type of problem or conflict we have chosen is: Character (protagonist) against another character (antagonist)

Protagonist: a teacherAntagonist: a ten-year old student
Problem or Conflict: the student refused to talk

Though we can make a story out of the student refusing to talk, the story might not be an interesting one.

Protagonist: a furious teacher (add an adjective or adjectives to the noun)
Antagonist: a gutsy ten-year old student
Problem or Conflict: the gutsy ten-year old student caught the furious teacher beating up another student 

Here, the problem or conflict would lend itself to a more interesting story.


It’s Your Turn to Create an Interesting Problem or Conflict in Your Story.”

Use one, two or more pictures in the story. Create at least ten different interesting problems or conflicts to create different stories.

Create mental images of the problems or conflicts in your head. Use the adjective + noun structure to create mental images of the problems or conflicts just like what you did earlier.

Make the stories worth reading by having the most interesting problems or conflicts ever!”

Relate all the problems/conflicts to the topic: ‘An Unforgettable Experience’.”

Problem/Conflict 1: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 2: ___________________________________________Problem/Conflict 3: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 4: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 5: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 6: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 7: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 8: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 9: ___________________________________________
Problem/Conflict 10: ___________________________________________

Do not ever fall into the trap of creating mundane problems or conflicts.”

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