More Than Conflict

A story’s power is not created by conflict but through conflict. This distinction is important. Conflict is the most popular tool for giving power to a story but it is a tool that should with other tools. When used alone, the result is not power but impotence.
That’s right. You may think that readers revel in conflict but what the reader really wants is an interesting progression of events. Conflict that goes nowhere will sap the health, potency, and vigor from your storyline. This is because readers are easily bored. To fight boredom, you need to introduce new developments. Developments of plot is only one sort of progress – development of character, world, or relationships works too.
In many powerful stories, desire is more important than conflict. This is because only so much progress can be made purely through conflict. I would argue that one or more desire, need, or lack is the power behind the story. These allow the reader to relate, generate interest, and provide a comparison point for progress throughout the story. They give meaning to conflict.

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