Is it possible to have a good story with no conflict?:

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Hmm... all of those (that I can think of) do have some kind of conflict, though, even if it's a lot softer than what the parent series normally has. If you have an example in mind, please share.
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52 chihuahua014th Mar 2013 04:45:14 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
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I just realized one good story with no conflict. While "good" is subjective, what's not subjective is that millions of people find it good.

Genesis 1.

The first story in the entire Bible.

We've already stated many short stories with no conflict in this thread, but Genesis 1 is a notable example.

53 Twentington14th Mar 2013 07:19:17 PM from Somewhere , Relationship Status: Desperate
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One of my 9001 problems is, what kind of conflicts could arise? I have four siblings, coming-of-age with adoptive parent, one of the four sibs gets married.
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54 ArsThaumaturgis15th Mar 2013 06:28:51 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
In short, I'd say "pretty much anything that might get between a character and their desires". That, I think, is more or less what conflict is in the narrative sense: a character wants something, and something — be it another character, a system, simple circumstance or otherwise — makes that less than trivial.

For example, a character wants to get a fabulous jewel. Unfortunately, said jewel, while left out in the open, is left out in the open in the middle of a trackless desert. Our conflict is this obstacle to the character achieving their desire, and our story comes to some degree from how they respond to that: Do they give up and go drink themselves into a stupor? Find a native tracker (but can they trust him or her)? Attempt the crossing themselves, vying with thirst, hunger, firey days and frigid nights and the gnawing fear that they are irrecoverably lost? Try to find a magic user to whisk them across the desert (where then do they find one, and at what price does this transport come)? Etc...
^ Yeah, that. Even in Genesis 1 (putting aside the matter of whether millions of people venerating something is the same as them thinking it's a good story) there's tension in the sense that it's a tale of a protagonist who begins with nothing and ends up with everything, in this case quite literally.

I mean it is about The Biggest Cheese so technically there can't be any obstacles because His power is absolute, but that's presumably why the story is presented as though there's some kind of obstacle, as though a series of steps must be overcome. If it just said, 'God thought there should be stuff so all of time and space were created fully formed and populated from nothing', THAT would be a bad story.

edited 15th Mar '13 7:55:24 AM by Kesteven

I highly doubt it.
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If there's one thing that I believe is true, it's that there's a proportional relationship between the amount of conflict a story has and how complex it has the potential to be. Here's a story with relatively little conflict:

Jane, average middle class citizen, catches a minor cold, takes a few days off work, and gets better a few days later.

Within the scope of that premise, there's not much that can or needs to be elaborated on. You might chronicle something like her trip to the doctor's office or her being anxious about missing an important date or making someone else catch the cold, but that's about all I can think of. Let's see what happens when we add a boatload more conflict to the story:

Jane was cured of her cold last week, but this week finds herself addicted to the cold medicine. She struggles to overcome the addiction and ultimately triumphs.

There's a lot more you can do with this that I can think of. How will all of Jane's loved ones react? Will Jane give in to the addiction or fight it? What does the addiction drive her to do? When she goes to renew her perscription, will Todd, the possibly sleazy pharmeceutical salesman try to help her or take advantage of her? Will she be fired from her job? Does she see the medicine as a "gateway drug" and become hooked on other drugs as well? Does she have a car accident if she tries to drive? Does she sue the drug company for making a drug with addictive properties? Does she overdose at any point, and if so, what happens to her? If she starts running out of money, what does she do to get her next hit?

And those are just some basic questions. There's a lot of ways to answer most of them, and for some of them, the answers may change as the story progresses, something that's also true of the first story, but not to near the same extent.

This is why I normally do prefer to produce and consume media that has conflict, because the more conflict it has, the more it has to work with. Trying to write a story without conflict for me would be putting a severe limit on my imagination.
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