Use Writer’s Block: Developing Inner Conflict

If your writing is being blocked by inner fear, congratulations.
You have excellent fodder for developing your characters’ inner conflicts. After all, one form of inner conflict is a fear blocking a need.

Fear terror eye
Fear terror eye (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Good inner conflict should be something the reader can relate to — and the fears behind writer’s block are definitely that. Fear of not being good enough? Fear of being vulnerable? Fear of stepping into the real word? Fear of letting someone down? Fear of expectations? The list goes on and every reader has felt them.
So harness it.
Project your fears onto one or more character. Add the frustration you feel when fear prevents you from moving forward. Incorporate the fear, frustration, and need into your current work-in-progress. Think of how the conflict affects character relationships, speech, perception of surroundings, and approaches to other obstacles.
No inner conflict is complete without a resolution. If you aren’t sure how to resolve your own conflict, concentrate on your characters’ conflicts. Usually a lesson is learned. If you are designing a character arc, on typical progression could be

– obliviousness
– refusal to admit there is a problem (causes problems)
– decision to fix problem (and set-backs)
– maybe try different ways to fix the problem (some of the ways can be wrong)
– learn lesson (inner lesson can help overcome a major plot point)
– prove that change is permanent

By using your most recent writer’s block as fodder for your story, you can deepen your characters, possibly work through your block, or even resolve the issue!

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