The Four Layers of Conflict – Story Building Blocks
"Every scene in a story should contain conflict." This advice led me on a journey to answer the question, “How do you come up with conflict for every scene?” The result is the Four Layer of Conflict method which takes writers from “I have an idea” to the actual nuts and bolts of “I have the required scenes that all pull their weight.”
Learn how by selecting a genre and subgenre you make a promise to the reader about the story you are about to tell and why it is crucial to keep that promise. By choosing a basic skeleton for the story, you can then flesh it out in creative ways while maintaining its structural integrity. Once you've chosen a skeleton, the four layers of conflict are building blocks that take you from concept to basic outline. Even if you prefer to write organically, growing the story as you go, understanding the conflicts at the heart of story structure helps you finish what you start without getting stuck in the muddy middle.
This method can help new writers complete their first novel and offers experienced writers another way of looking at structure. There is a difference between reading a story that is seamless and one full of plot holes. Tight structure can be the difference between taking your reader on a safe but forgettable ride and taking them on a journey they will never forget. This revised and expanded addition offers added insights and examples of the theory. Story lovers, no matter the genre or premise, prefer a well-constructed story. One thing this story addict knows for certain: Life is too short for bad fiction.
About Diana Hurwitz (The Villages, Florida Author)
Diana Hurwitz spent her childhood near Cincinnati daydreaming and writing poetry. She is often found lost in a book and dissects fiction for fun. She currently resides in central Florida with her husband and two cats.
When not writing, she indulges in reading, painting, jewelry design, travel, graphic art, and web design.She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and the Ladyscribes critique group.
She writes the Story Building Blocks series and the companion blog, Game On!, because she loves helping other writers and as a book addict thinks life is too short for bad fiction. She is the author of the young adult series Mythikas Island which she was inspired to write for her teen daughter who complained, “Why do YA books always have love triangles? Can’t a girl be a hero without a boyfriend?” The answer is, “Yes, yes she can.” She contributes to the Blood Red Pencil Blog with other fun editors and writers.
She can be found hanging out on Facebook far more often than she should be.