This book from Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, is the one I have been waiting for.
The Conflict Thesaurus is set up like the other books in their series: part how-to, part thesaurus. This guide shows writers how to maximize conflict and use it to build tension, drive the plot, reveal your character’s inner layers, and most importantly, keep readers glued to the page.
It’s packed with conflict scenarios like Moral Dilemmas, Ticking Clocks, Obstacles, No-Win Scenarios, Temptations and more. It can help you nail down your plot and character arc, so check it out!
And here is the blurb:
Every story starts with a character who is motivated by a need and has a goal that can resolve it. Whether their objective is to find a life partner, bring a killer to justice, overthrow a cruel regime, or something else, conflict transforms a story premise into something fresh. Physical obstacles, adversaries, moral dilemmas, deep-seated doubts and personal struggles…these not only block a character’s external progress, they become a gateway for internal growth. The right conflict will build tension and high stakes, challenge characters as they traverse their arcs, and most importantly, keep readers emotionally invested from beginning to end.
CHOOSE MEANINGFUL CONFLICT TO FIT YOUR CHARACTER AND STORY
Inside Volume 1 of The Conflict Thesaurus, you’ll find:
• A myriad of conflict options in the form of relationship friction, failures and mistakes, moral dilemmas and temptations, pressure and ticking clocks, and no-win scenarios
• An analysis of each scenario that maps out possible complications and catastrophes, internal struggles, and the stressful impacts on a character’s basic human needs
• Guidance on using conflict to influence your protagonist’s character arc through opportunities for failure and success
• Master class instruction on internal conflict: what it is, why it’s important, and how to incorporate it at the scene and story levels
• Information about the role conflict plays in generating high stakes that are personally significant to the character, upping the tension for readers
• A breakdown of the various adversaries your character might encounter along the way
Don’t give your character a break. Keep the hits coming with a variety of obstacles that will force them to work harder to get what they want. With over 100 entries arranged in a user-friendly format, The Conflict Thesaurus is the guide you need to write intense and satisfying fiction readers won’t forget.
I’ll be treating myself to a copy as soon as I’ve finished writing this post. (I recommend buying the paperback version as it’s one of those books you (well, I will anyway) will be dipping in and out of quite a lot.