We Lust for Conflict

The_Apples_Fall_From_Grace_by_FlyinG__DutchmaNWhy don’t writers write novels, short stories or even blog posts about beautiful things? Why is the candy-coated story considered boring by most?

The answer lies in what makes writing worth reading. Conflict needs to be present in order to keep readers interested. The story has to have a problem a character needs to solve. Don’t we all like stories in which characters fall from grace, and then scratch and claw to reinvent themselves in order to get to the top again? We root for them; we cheer them on; we all want them to clear their name or we want them to win. I could make a long list of characters to demonstrate, but I think you know what I’m talking about.

Maybe the lack of conflict is the reason I don’t find poetry interesting. I appreciate its thought-provoking qualities, the vivid word images, and the cleverness of word usage, but when push comes to shove, I’d rather read a juicy novel about hardship and struggle than a book of poems from cover to cover.

Perhaps rooting for people who have fallen from a pedestal is why our news media has evolved as it has. Instead of reporting the facts, they have turned the industry upside down, making a news story entertainment. They do such a thing to increase ratings.

Seriously, do we really care if a politician is sexting or carrying on with a mistress? Politicians are powerful men and women, and I would bet if we took a poll, over 90% of them engage in such activities. So, why is such behavior news? I really don’t care who is screwing who. Why is such behavior a lede story, especially in a society where extra-marital affairs have become common, and we have accepted sex without marriage as okay.

The only reason for such reports seems to be our appetite for exposing famous people and to see them sweat. We enjoy their  fall from grace. We berate them, damn them, and then cheer them on to come back. It’s the conflict we love.

My simple life will never be put on a pedestal and that is just fine with me. The fall from grace provides a hard landing–all for the sake of conflict.

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7 thoughts on “We Lust for Conflict

  1. I agree. I think we really like to hear about bad things happening as long as it’s to someone else. When it happens to us though, we’re hoping everything will simply calm down and get back to normal.

  2. I don’t like conflict in my life, but I love reading about it, Barb. I guess that is what keeps us going back to books where we know the conflict doesn’t effect us, but it can often put us on the edge of our chairs 😉

    • Yup. I agree. Personally, I avoid conflict at all costs. I’m a peacemaker, not a fighter. Unfortunately in real life, we can’t put conflict down when we’ve had enough like we can with a good book.

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