I have read lots on adding conflict and tension on every page, getting our MC into frequent trouble to keep readers engrossed. All of us are aware of adding healthy doses of trouble for the MC in our stories. Keeping these pointers in mind, we all have carved out a perfect antagonist who will bring about the right amount of tension and conflict in our stories.
I am just wondering, if we all are paying that much attention to our character’s Inner Conflict, or as one writer called it the Inner Journey. This inner conflict is extremely crucial for a character’s growth. It’s these constant battles with one’s inner demons that is a true test of character strength.
All of us have our inner demons to conquer: jealousy, envy, anger, temptations, indiscipline, insecurities, fears, anxieties, lack of trust and worries. Actually if we pay attention, everyday life is full of these small and big inner conflicts that we constantly fight and sometimes try to hide from the world. It’s all these small monsters that make us the unique individuals that we are.
When we successfully manage to avoid that second piece of chocolate cake, with the strong reasoning that we need to stick to our diet plans, when we avoid over spending time on various social networking sites as we need to chalk up our word count for the day, when we bite back the words that rise up our throats when people bug us, we show a strength of character. We can apply the same rules for the characters in our books.
Character weaknesses and the way the character overcomes them are all a part of the inner journey which is as crucial as the external journey. We can add the inner conflict by giving our character few shortcomings: fear of heights, ego problems, a short temper, laziness, spending too much money or being stingy, relationship issues, sibling rivalry, issues with bosses and juniors at work.
When our characters succumb to these temptations (even that is a good sign, as then we can make them wallow in guilt and misery) or overcome the temptations ( by pushing away the objects that were tempting them, this will show that our characters can summon their inner strength to conquer their shortcomings.)
Let me tell you the truth, I am not very good with adding inner conflict. Do you all have any tips for me to work on the Inner Conflict? How do we enhance that or add elements that can highlight the inner conflict of our characters?