6. Deeper Dimensions of Conflict and Plot

Page 1 of 2 | An Illustrative Scene | Conflict Becomes a Turning Point |

Dragons in the Stars: An Illustrative Scene
To give you a more detailed illustration of conflict and plot within a single scene, I have chosen another short excerpt from my novel, Dragons in the Stars, involving the star rigger, Jael.

In an earlier excerpt, we saw what happened when the dragon Highwing probed into Jael's mind and showed her a scene from her own past—the moment in the spaceport lobby in which her captain, Mogurn, first exposed her to the addictive influence of the pallisp, and so commanded her obedience. We also saw a scene in which Mogurn maintained his control by giving her just enough of the pallisp—like an addictive drug—to keep her dependent on him. Jael, at this point, feels crushed and oppressed.

Nevertheless, in an act of rebellion, she has violated his instructions not to fly near the dragon realm - and as a consequence, she has met and been befriended by Highwing. Looking into her heart and memories, Highwing sees that she is enslaved by Mogurn, and he wants to help. Here, he continues to reveal her memories in a magical spiderweb, and watches her reaction to them.

What follows (condensed from the original) is a kind of miniclimax of one piece of conflict within the book. Keep in mind that in a novel, there may be many areas of conflict, with the major ones coming to a head at the main climax at the end of the book. But in a short story, you're more likely to focus on just one conflict—more like the tight focus you'll see in this scene...


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