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When it comes to writing, most people assume chararacters, or the plot, or the setting is the most important. That’s all well and good, but when you get down to it, it’s conflict that really matters. The main lead has to obtain something important to them. Whether it’s an item, love, a destination, redemption, anything. Goals are the core of so many stories that it would feel weird to see a story without conflict.
So how do you incorporate conflicts? It sounds easy to say “raise tension,” but it’s a little more nuanced than that. That’s where The Conflict Thesaurus comes in.
Angela and Becca are at it again with a brand new physical description thesaurus focusing on Conflict. Cause let’s be real, conflict and raising the stakes is hard. Knowing how to cause it, how to escalate tension, character reactions, the outcome and consequences, is very important and key to an engaging story.
And you know I sing high praises of the entire description thesaurus series, so I’ll detail just the important bits of the thesaurus, mainly what each section details and give a few examples that I think are neat, as well as important to include.
Conflict is king. That’s usually how it goes, and The Conflict Thesaurus does wonders to help you decide what conflict is present, plus its outcomes and consequences. This thesaurus goes through numerous possibilites such as relationships, no-win scenarios, moral dilemmas, duty and responsibility, and so on.
While this book doesn’t go over everything, it gives authors enough of an idea that they can formulate a plan on their own. It’s worth mentioning this is a two-part series, with this just being part one. Content is a little lighter this time around, but with another part down the line, that’s to be expected. The physical book is hefty on its own. I can only imagine what part two is going to be like.
To give an example, let’s use a very common romance trope, the romantic competitor entering the scene. We’ve all seen it, but what can we do to possibly shake things up?
The section starts with examples such as:
“A love interest’s old flame showing up and wanting to resume a relationshipExcerpt From: Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. “The Conflict Thesaurus.” Apple Books.
Someone new expressing a desire for the character’s love interest
Being “just friends” with someone, yet wanting more when competition shows up
A rival seeking ways to hurt the character, including stealing their love interest
The character dating someone who won’t agree to be exclusive”
I can already see ways to change up the formula even just slightly. The beauty of these thesauri give you enough of an idea to formulate plans on your own. It’s then up to you, the author, to create ideas using these formulas.
The book goes over a number of possibilities, such as minor complications to disastrous outcomes, and even how characters respond. It’s not all doom and gloom as there can be positive outcome in the end with characters finding the strength to push on, for example.
Again, there’s not much in the way of situations, even though there’s a lot to go on in just this one volume alone. I’m looking forward to seeing the next part, perhaps in a bundle of some kind. Conflict is king after all, and it deserves an enormous amount of help in crafting the perfect conflict.
That’s all for today. If you liked this review, consider supporting me on Patreon, where I have early WIP previews, chances for a cameo appearance, and even early releases of every ebook I publish.
Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.