Image by Banes
If you're anything like me (you poor soul), you may have learned about conflict in English or Creative Writing classes, and they told you that stories could either be
Man vs. Himself,
Man vs. Man, or
Man vs. Nature.
So a character would be either wrestling with her inner demons, temptation, or a difficult choice,
or facing off against another character with an opposing agenda, or battling to survive a tornado, volcano, or the ostrich zombie hordes.
When we last talked about genres on the Quackcast, we agreed that the best stories would often combine elements of several genres.
Conflict is the same, maybe even more importantly. The most interesting stories, or even scenes, will have two or even all three types of conflict: the Inner (himself), the Interpersonal (other people) and the Global (nature).
Say a character is trying to get past an apartment security guard (Man vs Man or Interpersonal). The conflict could be heightened if the character was also battling his own cowardice…or maybe has a broken leg (vs himself). Maybe it's also pouring rain in the lobby (nature)!
Hmm. Maybe not. But you see what I'm gettin' at.
Multiple levels of conflict can even apply to gag comics and comic strips: Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes doesn't just face the challenges of steep hills and the evils of the bathtub (and the monsters he battles as Spaceman Spiff). He also squares off against his parents and other kids…and also faces the inner conflict of his own personality vs. the demands of his daily life.
He also fights with Hobbes sometimes…though I'm not sure whether that's Inner, Interpersonal or Nature-type conflict…
How do you approach conflict in your comics? Do you think about it? Do your characters face various levels of conflict at different times?
Have a good Thursday!
Banes at 12:00AM, July 9, 2015
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