Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor


on November 22, 2014

I read an article not long ago in Writers Digest in which the following statement was made: Conflict is at the heart of character development.

I’ve always put a positive spin on it, interpreted it to mean that conflict is necessary for growth, depth, maturity. I’ve totally forgotten that it can nurture pre-existing negative attributes/ weaknesses.

I don’t know if this means I expect too much out of people, I myself have lived a pampered life ( I don’t think I have), or I am living in a bubble.

I understand that conflict is essential for writing stories. When it comes to the real world, I will need to continue seeking answers on this from higher above.  In the meantime, I would love feedback from people on the questions below:

When you look back on conflicts in your life, do you see it as weakening you or strengthening you?

To the writers out there – Have you ever written conflict into a character’s story with the intent to show the character in a negative way ( with no redemption later in the story).

9 responses to “Conflict

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Absolutely. But it is not so much the conflict that strengthens me but rather the survival of it. For characters, I enjoy writing and reading characters that are developed in such a way that their choices and the initial judgement one has based on their response to the conflict actually is proven wrong later. We are none of us exactly what we seem to anyone else. We are the sum of those things and our secrets….

    • b4thirty8 says:

      “We are none of us exactly what we seem to anyone else”. My appreciation for your comment can’t be described. I have been revising a long piece of work that started three years ago and having a hard time with the character arc. This helps me a lot, as a young writer, and as a sometimes very tired nurse!

  2. Christy says:

    At the time of the different conflicts I felt rather weak but after processing through and resolving the conflict I was strengthened. In my closest 3 relationships I have had a major conflict in the past which has strengthened our relationship. Like someone said above, it’s not from the conflict but from persevering through and resolving the conflict. Many people like to run away from conflict and thus leave the relationship. I look at conflict as an opportunity and ask myself, “How can God be glorified through this conflict?”

  3. Ipuna Black says:

    I’m a nurse/writer as well. Glad to connect! I believe conflicts in my past have always made me stronger once I get through them. I’ve recently completed my first novel, and it’s currently in a few agent’s hands. Scary times. Anyhow, in my YA fiction novel, I used conflict to show growth in my characters. Conflict also shows how characters respond to situations. It tells you a lot about them. I hope this helps. Don’t work too hard at your RN job and happy writing!

  4. mreedmccall says:

    Re: Conflict…most definitely believe that in my life, I’ve been ultimately strengthened by overcoming the conflicts that have come my way, whether in relationships or personally. At the time, though, I didn’t know if I would survive some of them. The very serious conflicts that have occurred strike in a deeper and longer lasting way, and often create physical symptoms that can last a while, too (weight loss, jumpiness, almost of sense of continual lightheadedness etc). But being able to find a way through and beyond those is, as one might suspect, even more strengthening than the others.

    As for characters…I’ve written a few antagonists with conflicts that cannot and are not resolved in a positive way. I don’t think I’ve ever written a protagonist that way, though. The process of growth and learning from the conflict (or character flaw, whether of personality or perception) is usually the crux of the story journey and must be resolved to bring the tale to a satisfying fruition.

    Great questions! They really made me think about…well, what I think. 🙂

    • b4thirty8 says:

      Thank you for your input. I have revised the plot of my story to where the protagonist does get what she originally wanted. I realize now that I need more internal dialogue so the reader doesn’t get lost in understanding that the conflict did bring about a desired/ needed change, just not one the protagonist was aware of at first.

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