This article is the continued from series of articles –Story Writing For Animation. You can go through previous articles by clicking here

“ ….you are prepared for interview , walking along the road & suddenly it starts raining ……. It’s not stopping at all …. And no cab all around , Finally you scream looking at sky ,

“You know, this just perfect …” ….”

Guess what?  its “conflict with situation”  or you may call it “conflict with Environment” …  I learned an important lesson from my mentor and this is perfect to describe this conflict.

Consider three concentric circles ,  smaller – bigger – biggest

Imagine you are the center ,

The smaller circle represents  THE THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL TOTALLY,

And they are YOUR THOUGHTS , and THE MEANING , see these are the only things we can control ,

And if you are not then ITS CONFLICT WITH SELF!!!

Another the bigger circle is THINGS YOU CAN INFLUENCE ,

That means you can influence people around you , but that doesn’t mean control , it just you can help to direct or may be influence.

And the “conflict with others” lies in this section of circle .

The biggest circle represents THINGS YOU CAN’T CONTROL at all ,

First thing is the MOTHER NATURE , you can not control mother nature , its impossible ,

THE CONFLICT WITH SITUATION lies here in the biggest circle.

This is type of conflict you cant personify (like I mentioned in last article of conflict with others)

But you know what , Its not just Nature you cant control , you cant control so many things that happen in whole universe , and but when you become the some part of  consequence of  What happened due to Natural Situations or Events ; it becomes CONFLICT WITH SITUATION.

So how can we  use this conflict ?

Actually  You might have guessed that Conflict With Situation can be theme of film , like Dinosaur , Jurassic Park , the day after tomorrow, Armageddon .  It becomes question of Survival !

The most important part is we cant personify  that; we are just dealing with Situations.

For character dealing with this conflict starts from Biggest outward circle to small circle ,

That means he can influence(not control) the other characters around him , but ultimately it comes to his Thoughts and the Meaning he wants to give to the situation.

See it works  like ,

In example I’v taken “the raining on the day of interviewing”

You change the character in situation –according to him he will determine the meaning- and he will act.

The unique thing about this conflict in other conflicts  character knows to whom he should react ,  but in this conflict(with situation) , he has nothing to react but he has to react some way. (may be I went to far ;))

The wind , rain , snow, comet , law of physics , all are the things of nature one cant control but he has to deal with the consequences , it becomes conflict with Situation.

So what could be the outcome of this type conflict?

Its simple , the character has to determine the real meaning , i.e. at first he has to accept that its one of those things he cant control , appreciate the nature and find the ingenious way to overcome the challenge  caused by the situation.

This also explores the character to audience in larger extent,

It raises interesting Narrative Question , that “How will character handle the things he absolutely cant control?”

So  this is it , we have finished all the three types of conflict.

I just wanna remind that its not just one type of conflict is necessary , but they all exists in story with different shades, at different times (at the same time) but they all have ultimate aim , to explore character to Audience, how he deals with conflict ?

Points to remember –

  1. Conflict with situation is when character has to deal with things that he cant control like mother nature.
  2. The unique thing about this type of conflict is character has to react to something that cant be personified
  3. It raises narrative question “how will character handle the things he absolutely cant control?”
  4. Like other two conflicts it can be the Theme of story , raising the question of survival.
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