THE NARRATIVE CONFLICT – what is and what is it for

By | Marzo 13, 2018

 ENGLISH ARTICLE

Hallo and welcome to this new lesson from Scrittissimo: today I want to explain what is the Narrative Conflict, a concept little debated but extremely important.

scrittissimo come scrivere un libro, un romanzo, un raccontoBut before starting this lesson there’s something I want to tell you. This article is the translation in English language of another article written by myself in Italian and titled: “il Conflitto Narrativo – cosa è e a cosa serve”.

So I do apologize in advance for any translation error, for any English grammar error and for any syntax error.

So, let’s go forward with this lesson! 🙂

The Narrative Conflict – what is and what is it for?

The Narrative Conflict is the trouble or the problem that – at a certain point in the Narration – breaks into characters’ life by disturbing it in a more or less intense way. 

The Narrative Conflict is the trouble or the problem that - at a certain point in the Narration - breaks into characters' life by disturbing it in a more or less intense way. The scope and the intensity of the Narrative Conflict, in turn, is directly proportional to the type of Narrative Line which it belongs. The Main Narrative Conflict belongs to the Main Narrative Line and has an intensity and a very wide level of involvement of the characters. It mainly concerns the Major Characters, expecially Leaders (Protagonist, Antagonist, Copragonist). 

The Secondary Narrative Conflicts instead appear in the various Secondary Narrative Lines and have an intensity and a level of involvement of the characters much less broad. Primary Characters and Secondary Characters partecipate mainly to the Secondary Narrative Conflicts.

The Main Narrative Conflict belongs to the Main Narrative Line and has an intensity and a very wide level of involvement of the characters. It mainly concerns the Major Characters, expecially Leaders (Protagonist, Antagonist, Copragonist). 

A Story for Novel is always crossed by a single Main Narrative Conflict and by one, two or more Secondary Narrative Conflicts. Instead, in the case of Epic Novel, Trilogy or Saga the number of Narrative Conflicts increases proportionally to the extension of the Story. Therefore – only in these cases – it is possible to include in the Story two or more Main Narrative Lines! 

Technically speaking, the importance of Narrative Conflicts lie in theyr ability to move the Story forward. In fact they are always the cause of the development of the Story because they determine the transition from the Initial Equilibrium (moment of apparent calm) to the Final Equilibrium (new existential condition of the characters). 

If you want to know more about that, I invite you to read these article:

Technically speaking, the importance of Narrative Conflict lies in its ability to move the Story forward. In fact it is always the cause of the development of the Story because it determines the transition from the Initial Equilibrium (moment of apparent calm) to the Final Equilibrium (new existential condition of the characters).

But that’s not all. The Narrative Conflicts are the real engine of the Story for another important reason. They force the characters to change themselves, their thoughts and their actions in an attempt to address the problem that has upset their lives! And, unless it is an Extras, no Character is really exempt from this task! Each Cast member must work for what concerns him/her in relation to the Narrative Line in which he/she participates!

Therefore it can be affirmed that the Narrative Conflicts, besides moving the Story forward, contribute to the construction of Characterization, especially Leader Characters. 

Finally, for all these reasons, Narrative Conflicts must also be coherent to the Thematic Message transmitted by the Story and has to be suitable to the Narrative Genre to which it belongs!

If you want to learn more about it, I invite you to read this article:

Narrative conclicts are closely linked to the thematic message

That’s all for today,

see you soon on the next lesson

Simona Author & Admin of Scrittissimo: ideas, techniques and tips to write a Novel, a Tale, a Story