Guest post by Israel Eziedo.
There are three Acts in every story. Act one deals with Exposition; Act two, Conflict and Act three, Resolution.
Generally, act two takes the longest part of the film and is the link between the first act and the last act. The key to keeping your audience is to start strong and build on that with conflicts that keep them on the edge of their seats.
A conflict in a story is an obstacle the hero has to overcome in order to get what he wants. In “God’s Not Dead”, the hero’s obstacle to keeping his faith was his atheist professor. The conflict was a debate to show which side was true about God.
1. False Assumptions:
Have the main characters believe something that is not. This style was masterfully used in ” Providence” by the Wilharms. Rachael and Mitchell loved each other but they kept running from each other because of false assumptions. Mitchell thought Rachael was dating her client in school and Rachael thought Mitchell was dating the lady that hugged him at the Easter Meeting.
The beauty of this style is that it makes your audience sympathise more with your characters; maybe even feel angry at the misunderstanding partner.
2. Opposing Group/Person:
When another group or person wants what the hero wants, there’s trouble. In “Fireproof”, Caleb’s conflict with his wife was heightened when a doctor started making advances at her.
The key here is to give the opposing party better advantage over the hero.
3. Another way is to have the hero contribute to the obstacle. Let them fight the wrong person for a while and later discover that they have been contributing to their problems. In our beloved ” War Room”, Elizabeth’s marriage is crashing (conflict); she keeps fighting her husband (wrong obstacle), without knowing that the devil is the real enemy. By doing this, she actually adds to the trouble in her home: she becomes part of the conflict.
This style opens doors to teach how to deal with personal issues like Clara thought Elizabeth how to deal with her spiritual lukewarmness.
These are just few ways to build interesting conflict in your story. The Holy Spirit will show you more when you ask Him.