The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test

The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test

Writers Write is a resource for writers. Use our fiction writing conflict test to help you write a better book.

A good book offers interesting characters in conflict with each other, but how do you tell if you have enough in your novel? Read this post, then take our conflict test to find out.

If you read 17 Ways To Make your Novel More Memorable, I emphasised that you need to structure your book as a roller-coaster ride.

It should be a physical journey that forces your reader to vicariously experience a series of emotions. Pace it. Give us moments of respite and then throw us back into the action.

Characters In Conflict

You need to give your protagonist and your antagonist story goals. Remember that these story goals should be in conflict with each other. Tell a story where your readers can empathise with both your hero and your villain. Make both of them memorable and interesting.

The conflict you create needs to count. It cannot be included if it is not important to the plot or to character development. Readers love books that take them on a journey, that make them turn the page. Conflict helps writers do this.

The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test

If you are wondering about your book, take our conflict test to find out if you need to add some more.

The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test

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This article has 12 comments

  1. Mary

    Very interesting!

    What’s with the hero only being male? You were really good about using neutral language or his/her until number 11 – women can be heroes, too! 😉

  2. Writers Write

    Mary, it is obvious that the hero can be either male or female. It is impossible to say he or she in the limited space of this format. If we say only she, we have complaints from all of the men. as well. We try to use both genders wherever possible.

  3. penny

    Talk of conflict.. my protagonist and antagonist are forced to have a ‘romantic’ relationship 😛 and its not the same story as “What happens in Vegas”

  4. Sophy Zhang


  5. Kurt Bali

    Perhaps I missed something & if so, I apologize, but what are the points based on? Why the sliding scale of -1 to 2?

  6. debra druzy

    you always provide such great tips! hugs for sharing!

  7. Writers Write

    Thank you, Debra.

  8. Jaq

    This is an interesting list for sure, all good questions to ask, but your numbering system makes no sense. If we’re only supposed to add the “yes” column answer, why are there “no” answer at all? And how do you get a -1 or a 2 since the questions seem rather binary. Generally, I really love what you do, and I can certainly this working in a contextual circumstance or as a series of questions to ponder, but setting it up as a “Cosmo” quiz doesn’t quite work.

  9. Alle

    This is mostly good, but it seems to rely on the story having an antagonist. As mine is about the protagonist having to deal with an inevitable consequence of nature, and events that happened billions of years ago that are causing cultural and economic collapse at the current time, there isn’t really a fightable antagonist, but the stakes rare still extremely high, and I’d say there’s plenty of conflict, just without a main villain.
    Apart from that it’s rather good, though.

  10. katleho


  11. Adrian

    It’s interesting. It seems like 10 will repeatedly be the make-or-break point between having enough conflict and not quite enough. I don’t really agree that Q10 is SO important, but then again I’m not a professional writer.

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