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February 20th, 2003, 11:46 PM
What do you consider the best way for introducing character(s) to the conflict in your story?

Do you make them volunteers? EX: Hey, let's go find these powerful artifacts.


Do you throw them in? EX: The evil king threatens to destroy the village unless they bring him three powerful artifacts.

February 21st, 2003, 12:21 AM
In the few short stories I've written, I have opted for the second method: throw them into the conflict whether they like it or not. I see more potential for character development, and resolution of internal conflicts, than in the first method. Basically, I don't give my characters a choice to get involved or not, they have to or their life/sanity depends on it.

In the story I'm writing now, I just threw my main character into the deep end. What happened to him happened, and he didn't get to decide whether to "take the journey".

Generally, I start the first line of the story thrusting the reader into the conflict, no background at all. The background can come later. So in terms of the first method, letting the characters decide whether to get involved or not, that might be part of the story behind the story, introduced later when the characters reflect upon how they got there.

February 21st, 2003, 01:30 AM
What happens to my characters comes as a consequence of the choices they make.

I basically start with a problem - a character needs money, a village is about to be attacked, a man is drafted into the army - that kind of thing. Whatever happens next (and through the rest of the story) comes as a direct consequence of the path the characters choose. My characters have to earn their endings.

February 21st, 2003, 01:56 AM
I do it in a combination of ways. In my current WIP, the characters are thrust into a situation, but also recognize that the situation represents a potential windfall for them. They don't *HAVE* to go, but it's a career making opportunity if they succeed.

Lucky Joe
February 21st, 2003, 03:23 AM
I usually throw my characters in at the deep end rather than giving them a choice, but - and without sounding to arty farty - what they do once they're in the situation is up to them.

February 21st, 2003, 12:43 PM
I generally thrust my characters into the conflict by removing all other choices from them. I try to do that in a way that the characters don't even realize that they're being steered, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way.

February 21st, 2003, 02:28 PM
I either use inevitability. The character(s) are either trapped or surpised at the onset of a fight.

Or emotion. Good old fashioned anger, hatred or revenge can cause a decent scrap.

February 21st, 2003, 04:21 PM
I find the best way is to put them in a situation where they will inevitably be involved in the conflict. If someone's a soldier they will be involved in a war. If someone's a parent they will be involved (or should be) in the raising of the child.

February 24th, 2003, 11:32 PM
Sometimes conflict finds them, sometimes they take themselves to the conflict through certain actions, or they cause the conflict. Depends on the story.

I, Brian
February 25th, 2003, 08:22 AM
What do you consider the best way for introducing character(s) to the conflict in your story?

The most powerful way is to thrust conflict upon them.

In the event of characters seeking conflict, any explanation of the character backgrounds and motivations should point to the inevitability of their future "choices".