Conflict and Resolution: fiction and reality.

conflict, fight, aggression, fiction

conflict, resolution, fiction, writingConflict in real life is, obviously, different from the sort of conflict that is essential to stop fiction being tedious. I wouldn’t say I was adverse to a spot of real-life conflict now and again, though it’s not always welcome. Recently, a private conversation I was enjoying got interrupted by an Annoying Man, who was not hostile but who was drunk, entitled and either oblivious to the fact that his company was not wanted, or didn’t care whether we wanted to engage with him or not, because he wanted to engage with us. There have been similar incidents with similar men before and normally, being an elderly hardass, I have tended to see the pesky fuckers off all by myself. In this instance, though, I took the chicken option and went and got the party host to deal with him. And then I was irritated with myself for being such a scaredy-cat: the man appeared to be someone who was friendly and just a bit pissed. (In fact, when told to leave, he did become aggressive and had to be physically removed so, phew…)

conflict, fight, aggression, fictionYou can get any amount of opinions on whether the best option, when faced with someone being a total cock, is to scare them away/administer a smack or three if they won’t be scared off, or to be conciliatory in order to de-escalate the situation. Women are generally encouraged to be ‘nice’ until they can extricate themselves, which makes it quite tempting to do the opposite and tell Annoying Men to fuck off, but it’s hard not to think about the risk that men will respond with abuse or violence to a woman who is disobedient. What can sometimes inhibit me is more a matter of not wanting to turn a small irritation into a scene which will be distressing for everyone else in the room at the time.

This is why conflict in fiction is so much more fun. Unless it’s necessary for a complete shitstorm to occur at that point in the plot, you can allow your heroine, especially if she’s by way of being an author avatar, to see off obnoxious pricks with the sort of devastating retort that you only, in real life, think up once the wretched individual has gone away. Oh, and if you want a ruck with less chance of physical damage to yourself, there’s always social media.

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