Inner Conflict

People do not go through life plunging ahead, knowing exactly what to do without fear nagging at them. We all have doubts that get in our way. Similarly,characters in our stories would not interest the readers if they had none of their own doubts, fears, inner conflicts. Their struggles are what connects readers to the story.
James N. Frey writes in his “How to Write a Damn Good Novel II” : “inner conflict” can be thought of as a battle between two voices within a character: one of reason, the other of passion- or of two conflicting passions.” Haven’t we all been torn at some point in our lives between following what our “head” tells us to do rather than what our “heart” says- or vice versa.
James Scott Bell (one of my very favorite writer’s advice experts) tells us in his book “Plot and Structure”: “Many times it is fear on one side, telling the lead not to act. Inner conflict is resolved when the lead, by listening to the other side- duty, honor, principle, or the like- overcomes doubt and acts accordingly.”
This inner conflict that people struggle with should be reflected in our protagonist as a sure way to create an emotional bond with our readers. When the reader identifies with the protagonist, we create that awesome feeling that the story – at some level- is actually happening to the reader.
Subsequently, the more the reader identifies with the lead character’s inner struggle, the more attached the reader becomes to the book and the less likely she will be to put it down.

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