Great Screenplay Conflict; a way out for a budding screenwriter


Whenever you are confused on how to write your screenplay, just think of a 'conflict'. Once you are able to install a conflict, the conflict will force the screenplay to move on. Conflict is the tap root of a screenplay, the other components are the root hairs. Conflict anchors these other components (which are dialogues, actions, scenes, themes) and drags them as it moves on. And as long as the conflict resurfaces, the components elongates; and consequently, the story evolves from one level to another. So once you create a conflict for your screenplay, the story quickly begins to roll out and tell itself.
Conflict is powerful enough to drive your story because it is simply the competition and interactions (be it negative, positive, contentious, peaceful or violent) between the characters in your story. These interactions create the scenes, the dialogues, the actions, the themes; and once these are created and repeated, your story lasts. A single conflict between the villain and the hero on a mere contest for who wins the heart of a young damsel can create a whole lot of dialogues, actions, and scenes. It can also help you create more characters; and this may consequently establish other sub conflicts and the whole thing keeps multiplying. Do you know what? Just one conflict alone can provide you up to 10 feature screenplays. Conflict is powerful!

May be you are thinking of how to create conflict, right? Come on that's easy. There are many ways. Your environment is full of conflicts everyday, and this is due to the interactions between humans.

Here is a few tips on how to create a conflict for your screenplay;

(1) Take note of the daily interactions and face-offs in your neighborhood

(2) Discover the bone of contention in the face-offs

(3) Bring them into your screenplay

(4) Analyze and separate them if they are more than two. Know the ones that are contentious, violent, peaceful, friendly, ...

(5) If you already have a story on ground, then bring in any of the interactions that fits the story

(6) If you have no story on ground, then brainstorm on the different dimensions the interaction could lead to.
If the interaction is a very contentious one, then it may lead to violence. And this paves way for more other kinds of interactions, and hence more diverse dialogues and scenes.
But in the contentious interaction, if there is a strong mediation, the violence may not escalate. It may just result to just normal controversies and disagreement.
Now talking about the mediation in the contentious interaction, who will do the mediation? Other characters right? So have you seen that the different dimensions of just a single interaction can make you create many characters, and consequently scenes are produced, and consequently a story is manufactured?

(7) As you keep brainstorming, keep visualizing the scenes that will be created. Each scene will surely have it's dialogues, its actions and its characters associated to it. Just get your writing pad and start scribbling somethings down. Before you know it, you are already carving out a screenplay.

So, whenever you are confused on how to tell your story, just think of a conflict.



Written by:
Winston Oge (Winny Greazy)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/winny_greazy
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