Conflict and Tension In Your Relationships

Welcome Internet Universe Peoples,

As you saw in the title we’re started out fun with this series. Everyone loves conflict and tension between the characters and guess what? It’s relatively simple to do if you just start out with a few tricks!

So brings me to ask a couple questions.

What is Conflict in writing?

And what is Tension in writing other than the obvious?

Well that got me to thinking. Been up all night trying to figure out how to write this post. I kept asking myself how can you rework conflict and tension into the relationships you write for a character driven plot? It’s easy once you figure it out.

Conflict is the situation or character(s) that hinder your main character from their goals that just makes the character work harder. So, think about it. Relationships, just like settings, can be thought about as characters. Relationships in every stage have goals.

When you meet someone, your goal is to get their phone number, email, there Facebook, something that you can contact them with. So how do we add conflict here? Let’s say you’re attractive and he’s completely into you, or so you think. But he’s a party boy and we have Megan Fox walk into the room.

You have each other numbers and have been on a date. You’re hoping for date two or a more serious. monogamous relationship, there’s a goal. Let’s pick on this guy and introduce Megan Fox and some Playboy Bunny. There conflict.

You get the idea, every relationship at every stages have goals about getting to the next stage. Your conflict is your choice (please use something more original than I did).

Figure out what each of the participators goals are in the relationship and see how they compare. That in itself could create conflict, and tension.

  • How is your character’s insecurities aiding the conflict?
  • What is the worst that could happen? Do it… Plus add in a little flare.
  • What is the hindrance’s motivation?

Tension now. Tension is the intense emotion that happens at the climax… of your plot. You can’t have high tension every second that they’re together, so you have to fluctuate it.

The MC and Interest are at the house, watching TV. Relaxing night. Okay, no big deal, if you have two high points of emotion surrounding it. Think of it like action and reaction, roller coaster, or (my favorite) an oreo. The cookie parts of the oreo are all the juicy stuff that makes everyone want to see what happens, and the creamy center is the ability to calm down from the previous strong emotion.

Granted, it shouldn’t be as simple as an oreo, I’m just making a point.

  • Why does my character feel the way s/he is?
  • The character is having a heart attack! (High Tension). Follow-up with a hospital visit scene, (low tension).
  • Where does the emotion end and the next begins?

Keep the drama rolling and the mirrors fogging,



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