Conflict is the engine that drives your story.

What is keeping my protagonist from achieving his or her desire?

Is it fear? Doubt? Inner conflict? Personal conflicts with friends, family, lovers? Social conflicts arising from society's expectations? Cultural conflicts faced in foreign countries? Physical conflicts? The forces of Mother Nature? Simply bad luck or bad timing? The unexpected snowstorm, the power-hungry boss, the empty bank account, the dishonest spouse.  Antagonists, who are the principal characters in opposition to the protagonist or hero of your story can be a person or any other combination of opposing forces.

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Obstacles propel your story.



IDENTIFY your external and internal obstacles.

What are the external obstacles that stop you from attaining your goal?
What are the internal obstacles that stop you from getting what you want?

Examples:

“Tajik Sonata” by Anoid Latipovna Rakhmatyllaeva

I'm so frightened, but I keep going and enter the square. (internal obstacle)
And I'm remembering that we didn't have any bread given out at work today, and what can I feed my children with? (external obstacle)