A Little Conflict.
Writing conflict is difficult. Scary, even. It demands that you venture past the edge of what feels comfortable.
When I write conflict from a comfortable place, it feels like pretending. Because I am pretending. If I feel totally okay while writing it, there's no real struggle. It doesn't feel true.
Crystal Pite's talk on conflict and choreography has me thinking deeply about the what and how of writing conflict.
She's a dancer and choreographer. Her talk is called “Conflict is Vital.” Watch the whole lecture when you have time (it’s about 30 minutes long).
If you look up "What is conflict in literature?" you'll learn how to differentiate between external conflict (human vs. human, human vs. nature) and internal conflict (human vs. herself).
But how do you write conflict well? What does it feel like to write it? How do you know when you're hitting it?
“I find it really compelling to see a performer dancing right on the very edge of their ability," Crystal Pite says. "I think there is conflict inherent in the effort of trying to achieve something that is really difficult.”
I love this.
Can you write the way a dancer would dance? Can you write to the very edge of what you're capable of writing?
Where do you struggle? Find that place. Write there.
That's our homework this week. Let me know what happens in the comments below.