Devopling conflict

by Antoinette
(United States)

Question: So I'm having trouble with conflicts. I want my story to be about a girl who is a princess but doesn't know it. Later on in the story she, herself founds out she is a princess. She tells her friends this but they don't believe her. Then later at night she dreams of a portal that will take her anywhere she wishes to go, so she checks this place out with her friends and it's actually true. So what my question is... I'm not sure what the conflict is going to be I'm having trouble on developing a conflict please help. What I was thinking is that, she would travel with her friends to the castle and there she meets the bad queen (the queen of the village and has a daughter) who, toke over everything. That's it. The protagonist is there because she wants the castle back, everything that belonged to her and her family but I don't know how she's going to do that, what is she going to do to be able get what she wants? And I want to find a way the queen can sabotage this. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for the website c:


Answer: I think you already have the germ of a conflict. The Queen (stepmother perhaps?) wants her daughter on the throne rather than your Princess. It's a bit like Snow White and Cinderella combined.

So the question is... why does this conflict come to a head now?

A common solution (which I give as an example only) is that the Princess is destined to ascend to the throne when she reaches a certain age. Until then, she has been sent away with no knowledge of her status for her protection.

But with her birthday approaching, she receives messages intended to summon her to the castle for the coronation.

Now your evil Queen has a limited time to get rid of the Princess so her daughter (the next in line) can be crowned instead. To complicate things, the Queen may have other factions she is fending off.

Another cliche would be that the Queen secretly killed the King during the Princess's absence.

To make this story more interesting, you might look for a twist -- either on the characters or the setting or the plot.

You might also want to show your main character coping with politics (or social conflicts) in the real world before she goes to the castle. We should see if she has some talent (that might be useful at the climax) or a weakness she must learn to overcome.

Once you have decided on your key conflicts, it may help to outline an arc for each of them. Think of each one passing through four stages, as in...

1. An event that reveals or establishes the conflict.
2. An event that intensifies the conflict, raises the stakes, or adds a new complication.
3. An event in which the conflict reaches a crisis -- a do-or-die moment.
4. An event that shows the outcome of the conflict -- how things stand in the end, who won and who lost.

Best of luck.

Comments for Devopling conflict

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Aug 17, 2016
On the princess not knowing she is a princess
by: Anonymous

Here's a good idea. When she is near the age of being a legit princess, have her *almost* get poisoned to death. I know a movie that did that, there was someone that tasted her breakfast porridge, and she died. It was an interesting twist and kept me going for a little bit.

I guess you can do it differently so it's your own unique take, but I think it's be a pressing situation but also interesting. At least, it's interesting to me. Good luck.

This would also give her some strong feelings against this step queen. What would she want to do towards this Queen? If the poison fails, it'd be a bad move on her part (the step queen) because it gives the princess knowledge that the step queen is trying to sabotage her. The princess can then prepare against her emotionally and... in other ways. This may lead to the protagonist aiming to either kill her or destroy her economically.

It'd probably be more interesting if she showed up just to troll the step queen, to rile her up. Yet this would be a bad move on the princess as this could lead to her trying again. So there is always a consequence to each action. I would be fine with it if the princess had a backup plan or intended to make the stepqueen act so she can counter.

It all depends on the personality of the princess and what she'd choose to do in the process. ... Shit this is probably a good and realistic form of conflict.

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Just know, that it doesn't have to be 'poison', it can be any other form of killing. She could have sent a girl to kill her, but she fails. Maybe the girl is frail, messes up, and gets executed. Maybe the girl would tell who sent her (if the princess didn't know) or maybe she'd stay quiet. We'd all hate the girl if we liked the princess, which would make the execution interesting. It'd be more interesting if the frail girl was mean or did something within her own personality... Hmm... Probably like, being passive aggressive... or stealing a boy the princess likes, or just being outright annoying towards the princess. That way we'd be like "I hope something bad happens to her!" and then she tries that.

If we went with that, we'd have to think of why she would. Why would this frail girl accept? If she's passive aggressive, maybe she only cares about the money... maybe she was forced to via fear, but we wouldn't know that until later so we can feel bad for her, and then feel hatred for the stepqueen who falsely made us hate the girl (although she was still annoying or whatever you choose IF you do)

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So you get what I mean with conflict. Bottom line is, the queen wants to do something to stop the princess from even making it back to this place. Poisoning/Assassin is some options for her. There are probably other options, like making her suffer within the castle before she's crowned or whatever. Humiliate her. Take the boy from her, make him lust after her and make the girl feel miserable. There are plenty of possibilities. Just know that queen is a mean stuck up woman with mommy problems which justify her actions. Maybe make her also be lustful and going around with the boys, for that mature rating, if you want it.

I've said too much. Hope this helps.

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