Writing Prompt: Conflict Triangle

Posted June 10, 2012 by twoamwriter 3 Comments

Submission from a previous writing prompt:

SweetSarcasm shared this take on “London Bridge” for the “Twist a Nursery Rhyme” prompt.  Thanks, SweetSarcasm!


This month, we’ll focus on conflict.  And I don’t mean a big ol’ fight to the death between characters.

This prompt is inspired by an exercise from a class on conflict I took last month.

Conflict is essential to any story.  

The character has to want something.  And she has to be blocked somehow from getting it right away.

I really love sweet romance stories.  They make me super happy and warm and fuzzy and all that yummy stuff.  Last year, I read a fanfiction story that featured my favorite characters and I fell in love with it.  Completely, obsessively in love with it.

After a while, though, I began to lose interest.  There was no conflict.  The characters weren’t struggling to gain anything.

I ended up not reading the last 1/3 or so of the story, and it had started out as one of my favorite fan fiction story ever.

So…

For this prompt, we’re going to focus on conflict between three characters either in a single scene or a short story.

First, generate a random character here to be your protagonist:  http://selfpublishingteam.com/chargen/ya/

Decide on a goal for your protagonist.

Now create an antagonist whose goal is opposition to the protagonist’s goal.

The antagonist could be a big bad villain.  Or he could simply be another student in the school.  Or a parent or teacher.  The antagonist is the character who gets in the most way of your character reaching his goal.

Your third character is your protagonist’s best friend or sidekick or ally.  He wants the same goal as the protagonist or wants to help the protagonist achieve his goal.  However, he has a different idea or plan as to how to go about it.

As you can see, each of the three characters are, in some way, in conflict with both of the other characters.

Write a single scene or a short story showing us your protagonist attempting to reach his goal, and the conflict that ensues between the three characters.  Whether your protagonist succeeds in reaching his goal is up to you.


What do you think about our writing prompts feature? Do you have any suggestions for future topics? Do you prefer open-ended prompts or specific ones?

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3 responses to “Writing Prompt: Conflict Triangle

  1. Shadows

    How long can this entry be? How does the random character generator work, and am I allowed to invent my own?
    Please reply, thanks. 🙂

    • Write as much as you want. A single scene, a whole short story, whatever. The real goal is to practice your conflict skills. 🙂

      You can of course invent your own characters. I included the random character generator because I think it’s fun. You put in some basic info like age and gender and it will give you appearance and traits to work with. Sometimes doing something random like that helps spark our creativity and takes us in directions we would never have considered before.

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