What’s the problem?

Write about what?

Fredricksburg bridgeWhen students embark on writing fiction, they can typically handle coming up with characters and settings. The element that causes the greatest problem for the students is the problem  (a.k.a. the conflict). Reading fiction may be a form of escape from reality, but nobody seems particularly interested in reading about perfect characters in a perfect world.

Despite the fact the many teenagers’ lives are filled with the drama of friends, enemies and an endless change in relationships, these personal conflicts are often so spurious that the students do not even really know how to define them. If these everyday events are not related with verbal intonations of alternating intrigue, despair, glee and outrage, they just seem sort of ordinary and boring. But translating everyday conflicts into another world is precisely what good fiction writers typically do.

The conflict that the story centers around typically falls into one of four categories:

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