Personal and Situational Conflicts in the Works of Fiction


Personal conflicts in literature are the conflicts that grow from the differences in feelings, approaches, issues and insecurities that all people have, no matter how strong they may look. Every person carries certain feelings inside and has to deal with personal issues. In most of the day-to-day situations these issues stay inside, but with people that matter most the issues tend to come out.

Family, friends and those that we are involved with romantically are the ones whose opinions we usually pay most attention to and with whom our deepest feelings come into play. This is exactly how personal conflicts work in literature, too. Characters in books usually touch each other’s feeling on really deep levels.

A situational conflict is a conflict that arises from external circumstances, including plot, settings, and places. For example, in a romance novel, it can be a safe-house in which the hero and the heroine are locked in one room with each other and now they have to deal with their emotional issues and communicate with each other. Just like other kinds of conflicts, a situational conflict can build suspense and move the story line forward.