I found this little article questioning the need for conflict in a plot at still eating oranges. I found it interesting and thought I'd share it.
Thanks for linking this, John. Fascinating stuff.
I've often wondered whether all the things we tell ourselves about plot, character, conflict, all those devices, isn't simply a cartload of bovine fewmets, things we repeat because we learned them, and believe in spite of our experience. Is Hamartia really central to our understanding and enjoyment? Are the goals its use make possible severely limited?
I persist in thinking there must be something else, something we may be able to discover if we're willing to keep sailing through the fog. After all, if there's little difference between poetry and fiction, and poems aren't built on conflict, shouldn't we be able to create fiction without it as well?
Sometimes you have to unlearn, forget, decouple, unattach from and lose every precept, start all over again... with the clean fresh breath of innocence and wonder.
What? No conflict! OMG, we'll all die!
Thanks for this, John. It is helpful in a host of ways.
I am very interested in the cross-over between flash fiction and prose poetry, and it seems that when I am trying to blend the two, conflict becomes irrelevant at times and imagery and contrast are more salient. I have always been puzzled by the necessity for conflict vs contrast or connecting the disconnected. This was very helpful.