So first, I want to talk about the outer conflict. Outer conflict is most of what the story is about--the main conflict.
From dictionary.com, outer conflict is defined as:
And, to contrast, the inner conflict is defined as:
Many times, it's a physical struggle. For romances, it's about the problems between the two love interests. I was told, when I first started writing, that the outer conflict should indicate two opposing sides in the love interests. For example, the heroine might be a peace lover. The hero, a soldier. That type of thing.
Since I write romances, here are 20 outer conflicts for your characters to encounter. I've used all of these in my books.
Just know that the characters HAVE to work together somehow, for a common goal. If you split the couple up, there's no romance there. They have to stick together.
- Disagree on fundamental values--politics, religion, morals
- Families don't agree
- Waiting for something to happen before they can get involved
- Revenge from an outside force
- One character trying to help the other even though they don't want help
- Forced to work with the 'enemy.'
- Arguing neighbors
- One character has something the other character wants--and will stop at nothing to get it
- Client with attitude
- Doctor and unwilling patient
- Tyrant boss and employee
- One character saving another from doom or death
- Religious beliefs, angry church people
- Sheriff and criminal
- Two characters stuck together to get out of a predicament (like lost in the woods)
- Giving condolences on a family member who has died...and the recipient is angry about it.
- Someone giving aid to a suicidal character
- Saving a character from bullies
- Telling a character about their heritage when they didn't know it before
- Getting information to stop someone else
Have a great day!