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Does there always have to be conflict?

What does a story without conflict look like?

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

I’ve looked for stories without tension, but every example that tries to contradict this idea ends up with conflict.

The issue occurs when a character enters a story. They do something, and intention and want form around the action.

A character walks their dog. Anything that disrupts that moment causes tension.

A character gets a drink out of a vending machine. The want is the drink. Even if the character gets two drinks, this creates possible tension.

A character is sitting on a hill, eyes closed, in quiet repose. Anything that disrupts that, either externally or internally, creates tension.

I want to find a story without conflict to see how it works, but the moment characters appear, so do want and intention. But if a story can somehow operate without it, then what does it look like?


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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