The tension. The driver. The REASON for the story.
But what if that’s all you have?
You know that you need some characters and they need to live somewhere, but all you can think about is “It would be so cool if… [insert awesome conflict here]”.
You’re right. It WOULD be so cool, which is why you should write it down! Start with your blank canvas characters who are already embroiled in the conflict. You don’t know how they got there, but here it is: The big sword/gun/magic fight that determines the end of all things!
Once you have that down, you can easily spend the time getting yourself TO that conflict. It’s kind of a fun way to write because you already know what you’re building toward and now you get to experience the journey of getting TO IT.
This is the story of me writing my fantasy series, currently just called Tamerna. I KNOW what the major conflict is going to be, but I have NO IDEA how I’m going to get there. Somehow, I need to get here from where the story started to where I know it’s going to end, and oh man, what an ending it will be!
The trick when writing like this is to always remember the conflict you’re working toward. If you lose sight of that conflict, your story WILL go off the rails and you’ll have no way to get it back to where you want it to go. But until then, you have ultimate freedom to explore your world, your magic, your races, whatever, until you finally make it back to the place of the conflict.
I have LOVED this style of writing because of the freedom of exploration to get to this conflict. It’s SO much work in the editing stage, but it’s fun.
Have you ever written a story from the conflict?
If not, try this: In the final conflict of the story, Reyna challenges Queen Isabelle to a duel.