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The Types of Universal Conflicts In Great Stories

At the core of every great story is a conflict waiting to be resolved. What adds a twist to a story is a challenge or circumstance that your characters need to overcome. When telling a story through your business videos, social media accounts, presentations, sales pitches and so on, the conflict is central to telling your story well.

Business expert, Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great” explains how any great business or organisation has a big hairy audacious goal. This is a mission that your company sets out to reach. Challenge will always come between a man and his big hairy audacious goal.

Conflict draws audiences because they love to watch heroes overcome. Conflict starts with your character and continues with what he or she is up against. As told by Muse Storytelling, there are six kinds of conflicts that can happen in a story. Man versus Man, Man versus Self, Man versus Society, Man versus Nature, Man versus Spiritual and Man versus Machine. Let’s look at each one and see how we can tell our stories from the frame of a well-highlighted conflict.

Man versus Man. This type of conflict is where two or more characters go against each other. Say for instance you’re in the business of selling tennis merchandise. One story you should capitalise on is the matchups between professional tennis players. Sell on items with the branding of some of the big winners.

Man versus Self. A storyline with this focus will look more intently into the conflicts in between man and the self. Consider the story of a startup founder overcoming self-doubt over the value of his product. That conflict with the self is a challenge that can be told through your story.

Man versus Nature. In a story like this, a character goes versus the forces of nature. A good concept will include showcasing people in 4WD cars that can withstand floods. These stories are great ways to showcase products that help with emergencies. One good example is one of our clients, Rescue Swag, that creates smart first aid kits.

Man versus Spiritual. Man versus the supernatural or intangible. This can include a battle with faith or belief. These stories can often have a religious undertone. They can be great in featuring emotional and spiritual journeys of characters.

Man versus Societ. With this type of conflict, characters often go against stigmas, cultures or mindsets. These are cultures a certain community has that makes gaining resolution a struggle. Many organisations are out to go against wrong stigmas. These conflicts can rally people to get behind the revolution. One good example might be an ad showing a coffee shops campaign to source local to beat the stigma that only imported coffee beans taste good.

Man versus Machine. When a man has a challenge controlling or overcoming technology, the conflict exists between man and machine. One good example would be a smartphone ad that shows how technology might overpower older models. These kinds of stories are powerful in showcasing the capacity of certain tech products.

 

About the Author Fisch

Director & Cinematographer, Fisch Rasy's love of storytelling inspires him to create powerful films. Sometimes dad duties spill over onto onset, where he's been known to give the kids a real hands on experience...

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