Monday, April 4, 2011
cultures or class or something less global like divorce, job or money issues. Lots of suspense and thriller fiction works focus on the external conflict. I enjoy many books of this type. I've read all Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels where the protagonist forms only temporary relationships with other people and the plot is usually about Reacher facing down some bad guys. It's all action but so clever and fast moving I don't mind there's little internal conflict.
Internal conflict though can leave a lasting emotional impact on the reader. The depth of the characters' struggle to overcome their inner demons and reach their dreams can leave a reader with a good feeling so hopefully they will buy another book by the same author. Or the failure of the characters to fulfill their secret most desire may keep the reader up at night, recounting what went wrong and the choices made by the protagonist.
I try to do this in my fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles. Inner conflict propels the hero forward into greater danger and involvement in a war he never wanted anything to do with. I try to balance both types of conflict to create a story that appeals to everyone who enjoys epic fantasy.
Do you like watching movies and reading books with more of external or internal conflict? What book or movie kept you up at night wishing you could rewrite the unforgettable ending?