The Journeyman Writer’s Handbook: Creating Conflict

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The Journeyman Writer’s Handbook is a series of classes designed to make your writing life more productive, more rewarding and more successful. Creating Conflict is the fifth of these classes, and is your guide to writing strong, balanced conflicts.

Strong conflict is an essential part of good storytelling, but it isn’t as easy as it first appears. How do you identify, strengthen, balance and sustain conflict? How do you resolve it in a rewarding, complex and engaging way? How to you keep your characters moving forward through triumph and defeat? How do you use secondary conflicts to create a rich, unforgettable world? How, most importantly, can a strong understanding of conflict help us actually write?

Over the course of this two-hour class, Alastair will be your guide as we explore:

  • The three types of conflict
  • Internal and external antagonists
  • The risks and rewards of Man Vs. Nature
  • The path from vulnerability to conflict
  • Balancing stakes and consequences
  • The Core Narrative Conflict
  • Subplots and secondary conflicts
  • How to build a satisfying resolution

By the end of the class, you’ll be able to identify, strengthen, build and explore conflicts of any size and scale, from the smallest of interpersonal dramas to the fate of the world.

This is a two-hour live class, presented by story expert Alastair Stephens. In the downloadable packet, you’ll find video and audio recordings of the lecture, including Q&As from the live audience, along with notes and a transcript of the key points. Those files are DRM free, and you’ll be able to keep them, watch or listen to them as often as you like, and copy them to any computer or device that you own.

TJWH: Creating Conflict