–ѕа°±б>ю€ ?Aю€€€>€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€м•Ѕ5@ шњЙ"bjbjѕ2ѕ2 ".≠X≠XЙ€€€€€€Иhhhhhhh|DDDD P|ЕґxВъъъъъъъ$;RНr*hъъъъъ*hhъъ?ҐҐҐъjhъhъҐъҐҐ≤4`hh»ъl ‘ЯгR«DdФU0ЕЬ,€v"€»||hhhh»€h№(ъъҐъъъъъ**||А ƒШ ||А Grab Your Reader With Conflict By Lea Schizas No, not conflict of interestЕnot conflict within your beingЕbut conflict found in a story. What exactly is conflict in a story? SimpleЕa problem/obstacle your main character needs to overcome by the end of the story. Think of it as your engine that drives your car forward. Without one your car remains idle, collecting dust in the driveway. Give your car a super booster engine and youТll be coasting the streets with no worries. Well, until the police stop you. In a story conflict moves your character through various situations he must overcome. This intrigues and pulls your reader deeper into the story, connecting with your characterТs predicament. A character needs to have a hurdle tossed at them, makes for an intriguing situation to find out the outcome. Without an outcome, there is no magnetic charge with your reader. Before writing your story and making up your character profile, ask yourself these questions: What will be the main goal my character will face and need to overcome? Who will be my target audience? The second question is important because it will help to focus your words and subject matter to suit the appropriate audience. For stories aimed at children, your focus will need to adapt to a childТs view of the world around them. Most of the time the story is told through the characterТs point of view aged a few years older than the intended audience. For example, if you aim your story for the 8 Ц 10 age group then setting a story for a twelve year old character would be best since kids always like to read and associate with kids a bit older than them. What subject matter can you write about for this age group? Middle grade readers love mysteries, soft spooky tales ( no knife-wielding maniacs, head chopping, blood and core etc, more suspenseful and Сgoose-bumping tales like in the УGoosebumpsФ books), magical tales (Harry Potter), even teeny bopper stories like УThe Babysitters ClubФ or УSweet Valley HighФ. These latter ones are suitable for the Young Adult market, too. TYPES OF CONFLICTS: Here are some examples of conflicts in some books: - the almighty tried and successful Сgood against evilТ Think Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little PigsЕyes, these fairy tales were using the Сgood against evilТ method if you sit down and think about it. The wolves in both fairy tales were intent on overcoming their Сso-they-thoughtТ weaker counterparts. In the above examples, something stood in the protagonistТs way: Harry tries to defeat Voldemort but problems and other antagonists along the way makes this quest difficult for him. The Lord of the Rings finds FrodoТs quest to destroy the Ring but evil and dark forces stand in his way, too. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars needs to defeat the new order of evil, and he, too, faces many obstacles and characters along the way. In each of these examples, these obstacles (new smaller conflicts against the bigger goal they are after) causes a reader to continue reading to find out if heТll be successful, how he will outsmart them, and what change will this cause in the main character. Along with these obstacles, throwing in some inner conflicts alongside the outer emotions helps to cast them more as three-dimensional beings, for example: Luke Skywalker deals with the knowledge he has a sister somewhere out there. His inner being and emotions help to make him more sympathetic, which eventually bonds the reader to him. The same with Frodo; his world has been thrown for a loop when he takes on the quest of the RingЕalong the way he begins to doubt if he, indeed, is the best man for this job. Also, he questions his will power to avoid succumbing to the dark forces once he has tasted the RingТs power. Another example to show you what Сinner conflictТ means: LetТs assume your book is based on a police officer who mistakenly shoots a young child while pursuing a suspect. ItТs dark in the building and the kid jumped out of nowhere with a toy gun. The police officer is suspended while the case is being investigated. INNER EMOTIONS: How he deals and is dealt by his immediate peers His struggle to remove the visions of the killing The emotional turmoil as he waits for the investigation to conclude. His dealings with the parents of the child he accidentally killed. Throughout all of these emotions the one factor that will bind your reader to continue will be: How will he fare at the end of this book. The way you first portray this particular character in the beginning will be totally different by the end because of the various upsets heТs had to deal with. Show him as upbeat, nonchalant, no change at the end and you will lose your readerТs interest in the book and in you as an author. Think of real life: if you had to go through a trauma as the officer in the example above, how would it change you? A writer needs to wear his characterТs shoes and get inside his head to fully understand him. Write a story with a stick person and you get stale material. Write a story with powerful emotions and you have one interesting read. THE ALMIGHTY ENDING By the end of your book all inner and outer conflicts need to have reached a conclusion. Whether your character overcame or failed is not as important as making sure he tried to meet them head on. You cannot place a conflict (or foreshadow) without making sure by the end of the story some sort of a resolution was made. This is cheating a reader and they WILL notice, especially if one of those conflicts was the one heТs been hoping to see the outcome to. (Note: Article first published in MikeТs Newsletter in January 2007) AuthorТs Bio: Lea Schizas is founder and co-founder of two WriterТs Digest Top Writing Sites and recipients of several Preditors and Editors awards, The  HYPERLINK "http://museitupclub.tripod.com/" MuseItUp Club and  HYPERLINK "http://www.apollos-lyre.com/" ApolloТs Lyre. She is the author of the Young Adult Fantasy novel У HYPERLINK "http://rockofrealmnovel.tripod.com/" The Rock of RealmФ and the paranormal/thriller УDoormanТs CreekФ. She is also the editor and co-author of У HYPERLINK "http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonwriting/" The Muse On WritingФ a writerТs reference book, and the fantasy novel У HYPERLINK "http://aleatorysjunction.tripod.com/" AleatoryТs JunctionФ. In October 2006 Lea Schizas along with Carolyn Howard-Johnson hosted the first annual  HYPERLINK "http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/" Muse Online Writers Conference where over 1300 Attendees and Presenters took part. 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