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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

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13INTERIOR VS. EXTERIOR CONFLICT

Earlier I suggested that the one single word that best describes story is conflict. While some like to argue the point—there are abundant writers who will argue virtually any point—it remains irrefutable that conflict is essential to good storytelling. Without it, all you have is a character vignette or a diary at best, episodic pabulum at worst.

In that sense, conflict refers to what opposes the hero in a quest to achieve whatever it is he needs to do, win, accomplish, avoid, find, achieve, realize, understand, or otherwise attain. That conflict makes its initial meaningful—literally, in this case, as it imparts meaning—appearance (though it may have been foreshadowed and even previewed earlier in the first ...

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