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How to Create Story Conflict

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Storytelling Essentials

In this video, Tyler explains how to build conflict in a story through character development and their deeply held beliefs. The video covers the purpose of conflict, how to create conflict for an overall story and an individual scene, and how to build tension over the course of a screenplay. Whether you're a detailed outliner or a writer who just starts writing, the video provides a framework to help you create a more compelling story.

Storytelling Essentials


  • Start with characters and their deeply held beliefs.
  • Challenge characters' beliefs with conflicting beliefs from other characters.
  • Conflict should start small and grow larger over time.
  • Bring each scene to a specific point that turns and shoves the story forward.
  • Focus on philosophical struggle and character development to drive the story.
  • Break up the story into many stories that follow Dan Harmon's story circle.
  • Use Robert McKee's concept of scene objective and super objective to create organic conflict in each scene.
  • Use John Truby's concept of upside-down triangle to structure each scene.
  • Focus on creating tension organically rather than artificially injecting conflict into a scene.
  • Remember that plot concept, fun dialogue, and action scenes come second to character development and conflict.