At Which Point Does the Author Develop the Conflict

At Which Point Does the Author Develop the Conflict

Conflict is an integral part of any story, as it creates tension and drives the plot forward. As readers, we often find ourselves engrossed in the conflicts that the characters face, eagerly anticipating their resolution. However, have you ever wondered at which point the author develops the conflict? In this article, we will explore the various stages at which conflicts emerge in a story and how they contribute to the overall narrative.

Introduction to Conflict Development

Conflict development can be seen as a gradual process that unfolds throughout a story. It is not a singular event but rather a series of incidents, interactions, and decisions made by the characters. The author carefully crafts these moments to build tension and engage the readers emotionally. Understanding the different stages of conflict development will enhance our appreciation of a story’s structure and its impact on the audience.

1. Introduction and Initial Conflict

The first stage of conflict development usually occurs early in the story, often in the exposition or introductory section. It serves to introduce the main characters, their circumstances, and the initial sources of conflict. This initial conflict acts as a catalyst, propelling the story forward and setting the stage for more significant conflicts to come.

For example, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” the initial conflict arises when Frodo Baggins inherits the One Ring and realizes its immense power and its potential to bring destruction. This conflict sets Frodo on his journey to destroy the Ring, leading to numerous conflicts and challenges throughout the trilogy.

2. Rising Action and Complications

As the story progresses, conflicts become more complex, and the stakes are raised. This stage is known as the rising action, where the author introduces additional conflicts and complications that hinder the characters’ progress. These conflicts often arise from external sources, such as antagonistic characters, societal pressures, or natural disasters.

In George Orwell’s “1984,” the rising action presents conflicts between the protagonist, Winston Smith, and the totalitarian regime of Big Brother. Winston’s rebellion against the regime intensifies as he becomes involved in forbidden relationships, joins a secret resistance group, and ultimately faces the consequences of his actions.

3. Climax and Peak Conflict

The climax is the turning point of a story, where conflicts reach their peak intensity. It is the most crucial moment, often resulting from the convergence of multiple conflicts. The climax determines the outcome of the story and holds the readers’ attention as they eagerly anticipate the resolution.

In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the climax occurs when Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, in a fit of revenge. This event sets in motion a series of tragic events, leading to the ultimate conflict of the play – the young lovers’ untimely deaths.

4. Falling Action and Resolution

After the climax, conflicts begin to resolve, and the story enters the falling action phase. The author ties up loose ends, provides closure, and offers a resolution to the conflicts established earlier. This stage allows the readers to reflect on the events that transpired and understand the consequences of the characters’ actions.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the falling action reveals the aftermath of Jay Gatsby’s death and the resolution of the conflicting relationships between the characters. The story concludes with a reflection on the American Dream and the consequences of pursuing it blindly.


Q: Can conflicts be developed throughout the entire story?

A: Yes, conflicts can be developed and introduced at any point in a story. While some conflicts may emerge early on, others might arise later to create twists and surprises for the readers.

Q: Are all conflicts resolved by the end of the story?

A: Not necessarily. While some conflicts are resolved, others may remain unresolved to leave room for interpretation or potential sequels. This open-endedness adds depth and complexity to the narrative.

Q: Can conflicts be internal rather than external?

A: Absolutely! Internal conflicts, such as a character’s struggle with personal fears, desires, or moral dilemmas, are just as impactful as external conflicts. They often contribute to a character’s development and provide insights into their psyche.


Conflict development is a crucial element in storytelling, captivating readers and driving the plot forward. From the initial conflict to the rising action, climax, and resolution, authors meticulously craft conflicts to engage their audience. By understanding the different stages at which conflicts emerge, we can appreciate the intricate structure of a story and the emotional journey it takes us on.

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