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Fighting the Conflict

Character vs. Character

Character vs. Environment

Character vs. Self

We’ve all heard it before, if you’re in the arts, or went to high-school you know how important it is: find it, create it, intensify it. We don’t have a story, a scene or a decent creative moment without some sort of conflict.

What they don’t always tell us is that we have to find the love – the attraction too.

Conflict – almost by definition – pushes characters apart; we need to find out what pulls them together.  What pulls them toward each other or their environment?  If there’s nothing keeping characters together, they leave and we don’t have a scene.  The only exception are prisoners*.   It’s the push pull between conflict and attraction that makes our art interesting.

As an example, let’s look at a couple of boxers.  Here’re a couple of guys (usually guys) beating the snot out of each other.  Where’s the love?  It could be love of sport, love of a woman who likes boxers, love of a father who thinks I’m soft, love of the prize money, even love of getting the snot beaten out of me, but if there’s NOTHING pulling me into the fight I leave – – – or in my case, I don’t go there in the first place.  If you want me in a boxing ring, you’re going to have to turn me into prisoner and trap me there…I’ll be the guy running at top speed from Mike Tyson.

I realized this morning that I’ve never really examined the push/pull, conflict/attraction issues on internal conflict.

Here goes:


Be true to who you are, be gentle with yourself and be honest with your desires. Stop turning your life into a boxing match.

I’ll do the same.

*More about this in a later Blog


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