Dramatizing Conflicting Emotions and Values | Barbara Vance | Skillshare

Dramatizing Conflicting Emotions and Values

Barbara Vance, Author, Illustrator

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10 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. 1 Introduction

    • 2. Planning Internal Conflict: Three Questions

    • 3. Expressing Emotional and Value Conflicts

    • 4. Structural Ways to Show Internal Conflicti

    • 5. Creating Consistent, but Conflicted Characters

    • 6. Conflict Over Several Scenes Making Each Scene Unique

    • 7. Conflict Over Several Scenes: Values Ping Pong

    • 8. Conflict in One Scene

    • 9. Value Conflict via Exposition

    • 10. Final Thoughts and Class Project

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About This Class



This course will help you plot out your protagonists conflicting emotions, values, and goals so that the reader feels their tension. It is important to demonstrate internal conflict throughout a story in different ways so that decisions your character makes are full of drama and are also believable.

Have you ever watched a film or read a book and you either did not care what happened or the actions of the character did not seem believable. Often this is because the author/screenwriter has not adequately demonstrated:

  1. What the conflict is
  2. The ramifications of choosing one value/need over another
  3. How the character feels about his choices and options

In this course, you will learn

  1. Ways to show internal drama in a story
  2. How to avoid making a character seem unreliable/unrealistic while also showing genuine inconsistencies in his decisions.
  3. How to build tension scene by scene

Often, writers do not put enough energy into demonstrating a variety of ways in which a character's internal conflict affects him and those around him. Showing conflict mean multiple scenes in which one value wins out over another sometimes and loses to it other times. BUT--if you just follow this plan you can find yourself with scenes that essentially tell the reader the same thing.

Part of the challenge is showing that a specific value conflict is occurring throughout the story (same value conflict) but looking at that conflict from different angles so that the reader gets a full sense of the issue without feeling like you are telling her the same thing over and over again.

This course is helpful to writers of all levels. We delve into some detail, using a case study as an example that we will work through.

By the end of the course you will have a better idea of how to plot out and write your character’s internal struggles.

The class project gives you the opportunity to write a short scene or a series of short scenes depicting internal struggle. It walks you through three steps that will help you make sure you are covering your bases. I really recommend completing it because it will solidify concepts in the videos.

Hope you enjoy!



1. 1 Introduction: Hi everyone, my name is [inaudible]. I've had the good fortune for many years to teach storytelling, a character development, creative writing, and a number of other creative subject fields to a lot of wonderful and talented individuals, and I'm so glad to be here to share this information with you as well. This course is part of my character development series, and in this one I'm very excited. We are focusing on value and emotion conflicts of a character in a story. This class is going to be great if you are a creative writer, if you are an actor, even if you're interested in business and people relations, this course will be fabulous for you. What are we going to cover? Your protagonist and indeed numerous characters in your story, all have things that they want, and they all have things that have an emotional attachment to them. Your characters have wants and needs, those wants and needs are attached to their values, and that has an emotional attachment. So wants and needs, values and emotion, and when we are crafting a story, we have to decide how do I actually manifest this in my story. This is not a video about choosing what you want your character's wants and needs to be, what your character's values are, what your character's emotions are. That's not this video, that's not this course. This course is about once you've made those decisions, how do you actually manifest that in your writing, how do you show that to your readers. Characters are in conflict. People are in conflict. Conflict is what makes the story interesting, but values are not that simple. If our character was completely consistent and everything that she wanted she got, and she never had any issue between two things, there would be no story, it would be very boring because everything would happen exactly as we wanted it to, and that would just, who's going to read that? And that's not fun, I mean, I guess it's fun if it's our life. So we are always just as human beings going through conflict. I might want that ice cream, but I don't want the calories, I might want my job, but I don't feel like waking up this morning and going to it, I might want an A on the test, but I don't feel like studying. We are constantly navigating choices and when we look at those choices, we also are looking at what are the character's values? Because the character's decisions are going to say something about their values. If I'm a student and I want my A in my class, but I don't feel like doing the studying and I don't want to go to the study sessions, the reader's going to look at that and say, what's she going to do? If the character goes to the study sessions and forgoes the family events for the study session, doesn't go to her brother's birthday bash because she's studying for her course, we understand that in this instance, the priority is for school and academics over family. It's not like it's always as easy choice, where it's your choosing between robbing a store or not. That's a more obvious one, but getting a good grade or going to your brother's birthday bash, those are two good things she wanted to do them both, but she had to choose one. This is why the emotion bit is important too, because what's her emotion with that? Is she? We can't just look at it and say, oh, her values are clearly school. School comes first, that's that, that's simple, it's not that simple. What is her emotion about that? Is she conflicted that she's not going to have brother's party? Is she relieved she's not going to her brother's party? There's a value decision that's being made, but there are emotions attached to it. That's what this course is about. How do we navigate what is actually quite, quite complex? Your characters are going to feel more real to your audience, if they have these conflicting emotions. You want to show them, going through exactly the sorts of things that we go through every single day, and with so many things constantly in conflict, so you want to bring that realism to your characters. If that's of interest, this is the course for you, so let's get into it. 2. Planning Internal Conflict: Three Questions: When we start planning out how we're going to demonstrate the emotional conflicts, the value conflicts of our characters, there are three primary questions that we want to ask that will help us to map that out. The first is what two values or emotions are in conflict. What are the two things we're choosing between? Again, each of those values, there will be emotions attached to that conflict. There will be emotions attached to that value. When you're looking at them you're going to say, "What are the values?" The second question is, "Which value is going to win?" Now, there is a large story happening here. In some scenes, one value is going to take priority over the other. That's going to go back-and-forth throughout the story. If you're writing a novel and in every scene, your student prizes academics over family. We're not seem terribly much of a conflict, because we clearly know where she stands. We know how she feels, unless you're telling us constantly how bad this makes her feel, but that she's constantly choosing it, that is less of a conflict. What demonstrates more of the conflict is if we have scenes in which she's choosing academics and scenes in which she's choosing family and how does she navigate that. What that means is that these questions you're asking, you're asking them for various scenes throughout, but then you're asking them for the overall narrative as well. At the end of the day, does she choose academics? What is her realization about academics versus family life? At the end of the narrative, how does she come to terms with the conflict? If you write a story and you build up, there's this tension, tension, tension all the way through academics or family. What she going to do? Then you don't give us any resolution that she comes to about that? What's her resolution? Then why did you build up all that conflict in the narrative? You have to know what's the big revelation or decision she makes about that conflict. Then how do we see it play out in lots of little ways throughout the story. First question, "What are the values at stake?" Second question, "What value is going to win?" Third question, "How does the character feel about this?" How does the character feel about this? You're not going to write a scene in which just say, "Sally chose to go to the study session rather than going to her brother's birthday." You are going to say she felt a pang of regret, or she felt relief, or she felt something because emotions are attached to our decisions. Your readers aren't going to just associate with actions just watching her do things isn't going to tell us anything. We have to understand how she actually feels about that. Knowing, and for each of these scenes that you do in which you're demonstrating, the value conflict happening, you need to know not just what's the character going to choose in this instance, but how does the character feel about it. If you do that, these three questions, formulas, but these three questions will help you to make a really solid conflict that builds throughout the story. It makes that final revelation, resolution feel satisfying, feel right. 3. Expressing Emotional and Value Conflicts: Now then there are several ways you can express; value conflicts. You can express them through action, through thoughts, through dialogue, through back story that you tell. Through emotions. Employ all of these. Use them all. Don't just rely on one. Do not have your characters talk. Do not have your characters act. Now, if you've watched my videos, then you know, rules are just that they're rules and you can do whatever you want. Don't take this as this is a must do. You must do it this way. You don't have to do it this way. These are general guideline they're guidelines they're not rules. They are guidelines. Everything I'm telling you, everything I tell you about writing; you could go out and you can find a book, a novel, a short story, a film, screenplay, whatever that totally broke that. That's the glorious thing about creative writing. Just keep that in mind. These are guidelines, but in general, I recommend employing all of these things. 4. Structural Ways to Show Internal Conflicti: When it comes to the nitty-gritty, the okay, yes, that's great, theoretically nice, but how do I actually write that into my story, into my screenplay? What does that look like? There are three primary ways that you can manifest this conflict throughout your narrative. You can show the values conflicting in a series of scenes so that you're showing them throughout. You can show those values conflicting in a single scene in which we see that happening, and you can tell us that that value conflict is happening through exposition where you're just overarching that narrative voice and you describe it rather than us seeing it play out either over a series of scenes or in one. All three of these have a place for you in your writing and it's good to have variety. Don't think, well I just need to pick my pony and pick one of the three and just do that. No, you can do all three. All three have strengths to them and challenges, things that you have to be aware of when you are doing your work. 5. Creating Consistent, but Conflicted Characters: Let's talk a moment about consistency and inconsistency because this is actually a very important thing. When you've got a value conflict, your character is going to behave sometimes inconsistently throughout because we're going to say, ''Well, there she chose academics, there she chose family.'' How do you really feel? The truth is that as people who are behaving inconsistently all of the time, there's a siren. It is human nature to do so. It's human nature to not always make the exact same value choice every time. That's what makes humanity in life interesting. Because we were constantly navigating that. That's why they're all these sometimes little stressors in our lives because we have lots of things pulling at us for attention. There are so many things that we want. We're constantly having to negotiate, to figure out, to try to get to a comfortable situation with that certain value conflict, and there are numerous value conflicts going on at any time in our lives. People behave inconsistently, and that's part of what makes your character interesting, is that we're learning her, we're getting to know her as we're reading her, and so you want to write that inconsistency of action into your story. But you have to do it in a consistent way. The consistency is the value conflict at stake. The consistency is that we see this the issue she's struggling with. We need that consistent core because otherwise, you end up with a character that feels unreliable and then your audiences aren't going to relate. We've probably all had situations in which we saw a film or we read a book and a character does something that is so totally out of character that it's not believable to us. It pulls us out of the story, go to a film and you just say, ''That made no sense. When she did XYZ, I don't even know. That was just totally out of character.'' How do you write a character whose behavior is inconsistent in a way that doesn't make your audience go, ''That was out of character?'' You do this by preparing your readers, by having a consistent value conflict, by demonstrating the emotions attached to it consistently. In this class, we're going to have a narrative that we're going to tease out in a variety of these examples. Let's say for our purposes, our main character's name is Sam, and Sam is very driven. He loves his job, and he really wants to get ahead at it. Now, in the narrative, he also happens to be a newly single father. His ex-wife, recently, sadly passed away, and now he is the sole guardian of his son Peter. He loves Peter, but he's adjusting to this idea of being a father, being the caretaker, the primary caretaker of his son, and so he's adjusting to this. This is the situation then when the two values that we're looking at are this drive to get ahead in his career and succeed. He's a young man and love of his son and being there for his son, so that's what he's going to be dealing with. That's going to be his primary struggle that he's trying to come to terms with throughout the story, and then you have to ask yourself, ''Those are the two character values, which one wins?'' That's what you'd ask yourself scene to scene. In this scene, which is the one that comes out on top? We'll see examples of this, and then how does he feel about that? That's the story that we're going to be looking at as we go through this class. 6. Conflict Over Several Scenes Making Each Scene Unique: The first of these that we can look at and is the one that is most commonly used is having your value conflicts play out over a series of scenes. This is generally what happens in a novel. We have a lot of scenes in which we see a protagonist grappling with an issue. One of the tricks here is that you don't want to have a lot of scenes in which the same value wins out again and again and again. If you do four scenes in which Sam is struggling with balancing fatherhood and his job and which should he choose? Four times in a row he chooses his job. You can do that, that's fine. That sends a message that again, that starts to answer this question for us that that's his priority. If you're going to do something like that where you have him choosing his job, choosing that value over the family value numerous times in a row, you need some other nuance to justify the scene that you are writing. If you've watched other videos, then you know, I'm a firm believer that you have to fight. You have to justify everything you put into a story. Everything. If it's not justifiable don't just throw it in there because you think it sounds good, because that can actually weaken your story. More is not necessarily better. You have to really believe in what you're putting in your story. This means that if you're going to have two scenes in a row in which Sam ends up choosing work over his son. If I can't discern something unique and different about those two scenes, then I don't know why I'm reading it again. It becomes boring, feels like deja vu. It slows the story down. You can have an instance in which maybe in one scene, Sam chooses work over his son. Maybe his son needs to be picked up from school and Sam decides he can wait. I didn't get in touch with him. I know I said I'd be there, but he's he's going to just sit there and it's going to be an hour. It's going to be no big thing. That's going to be half an hour, it will be fine. Then it ends up being an hour. Then his son, Peter, is just beside himself, upset. He feels like his father has forgotten him, he is crying, and it results in him having this distrust of his father's, Peter is still learning to live with his father. That scene, what Sam takeaway, Sam is realizing what it is to be the primary caretaker now , he didn't appreciate his son's feelings and he didn't appreciate the gravity. He thought he did, but he didn't of what this new role means. Now say you're next scene. Sam also chooses his job over Peter. That maybe in that scene, we see a recognition that he knows that this choice is going to have a bad ramifications. Or maybe he thinks his solved the problem. Maybe he says, "We're not going to play that game again." This time when he chooses his job over Peter, he says to himself, Well, I've solved the situation because I hired this babysitter. I know Peter wanted to go with me to the park. I really have to finish this brief. But I hired a babysitter so he's going to still get to go to the park. It's just not with me. He's chosen his job again. He thinks he's solved this problem of his son feeling like he's got connection, but he doesn't his son now feels like you didn't spend time with me. In that way, you can have more than one scene in which the protagonist chooses one value over another multiple times. But each of those instances, Sam got new information. In-between those, Sam tried to solve the problem that was made with the first scene. Your character is always going to try to fix the problem with the easiest thing they can do. It's not realistic. For a protagonist who's faced with a brick wall at all, brick wall that he asked to go around. It's as big wall. You need to get around the wall. What's the first thing that you character's going to do? It's not going to be. Let me go. Walk and walk and walk and walk and walk. I can see this war goes on for a really long time. Let me walk until I get to maybe the end of it whenever that is and then I'll get around it. Probably not the first thing he's going to do, probably the first thing it's going to do is say, "I could dynamite my way through this wall. I can walk till I don't know how long to get around it or I could try somehow to get over it." That third options, that's the seemingly easiest one. That's a one he's going to try first. Your characters are always going to try the easiest thing first we all do. We do not want to make our lives more difficult. We're going to try to solve the problems that we make. You can have your character do the same value set more than once, but make those changes throughout. However, you also want to really balance it. You want sometimes, if it's a true value conflict, sometimes Sam's going to choose peter over his job, eventually right? He might at first just choose job several times. But then he might finally realize that he does care for Peter and start to balance that out. Then maybe he won't choose job so quickly. 7. Conflict Over Several Scenes: Values Ping Pong: So let's go back and let's think about this story with Sam and Peter. What we want to say is storyteller is that Sam enjoys work and he enjoys being a father to his son. Let's say that's what we're trying to say. We're trying to say Sam sorting it out, he loves his son, he wants to be with his son. He likes to do both. Now, as a story, we can show that. We can show Sam having good time at work and feeling good about his progress, we can show Sam spending time with his son and enjoying his son but that isn't really interesting if that's all that's happening. If he's at work and he's happy and he's with Peter and his happy, then we say, well, this is a balanced situation here. Nothing to see here, go home, nothing to see. Let's complicate this. Let's put in some scenes where we show Sam missing each of those things. We've shown that he likes both. We've got scenes that have told our reader, okay, he likes his son and he likes work. We have those scenes. We know that those two things are going to come into complex sometimes, so then what happens? Are we just going to show him happy at work even though it's conflicting? No, we're going to show scenes in which he feels like he's missing out on Peter and scenes where he feels like he's missing out on work. But even that doesn't quite get at it, does it? It's not quite complex enough because it's not enough to say I like that and like that so I'm sorry when I can't do that and I miss when it can't do that. That's a bit simple still. You really want to dig into the why does he feel what he feels? What is really going on? How does he really feel about his job? Not just do I like this job. What's going on here? Is it just he likes his job? Is it he wants to really get ahead. Why does he want to get ahead? Is it because he just wants to or does he really need to see financial trouble? Or has he worked his whole life for this and that's right in front of him? What's riding on the job? We need to feel that loss. As a reader, I don't feel like there's a serious loss if he doesn't work the job, make the deal. That I don't feel the tension myself because I just go, think at a job and get a different job. There lots of jobs you might like. It's fine. You need to set up for me what do I stand to lose if Sam doesn't keep going forward and focus on his job like he was before he had Peter. Then likewise, I need to feel what does he stand to lose if he doesn't take time with his son. Is he going to lose his son? Has he had been trying to be a father before and couldn't get to and that mean something to him? Is he learning what that is and he realizes he really doesn't want his son to dislike him or be distant from him? What's its take? We need us to know that. When you think about the emotions that you can have, write that question, how does my protagonist feel about this conflict? It's not just going to be stress. Can't just say, well, it's conflict is stressed. No, you can't say that. Is he angry? Maybe sometimes he's angry at his son. Inside he's angry, you're taking this opportunity for me. Maybe sometimes he's angry at his coworkers, it's my son. Maybe sometimes he's just sad at the situation. Maybe sometimes he's really happy. Maybe sometimes he doesn't know what he is, he's just totally confused. They're going to be lots of emotions and you want to figure out what all of these could be. Let's, take all of that and put it into an example. I have my notes. I have my notes because I need my notes. Let's say there was a big opportunity, there was a really big meeting. It was a big deal and Sam had been working for it and working for it and working for it and he ended up missing it. He ended up missing it because Peter wasn't feeling well and he had to go pick Peter up from school. There was no one else to do it. Sam had to walk out of the office before the meeting and go and pick up Peter. His way out the door, his co-worker says, stops Mr, you can't leave. This is just a stupid move. You can't leave. Just let just son wait, let someone pick him up, give me a break. We've been working a really long time for this and you were about to mess up this deal that we've been working on. This isn't just about you. This is about me too and it's about the company and you're messing it up, give me a break. Sam gets angry. He's angry at his co-worker. "That's my son." "That's my son." We have this scene in which the value, the conflict is right there in front of his co-workers pressuring him to stay, his son is over there ill and asking for his father and Sam who might have been walking out the door filling dismayed maybe you were describing him walking out the door upset, sad that he has to leave, but the minute that co-worker says something, that's my son. We see that. There's a scene in which in this case, who's winning out? The son. The son is winning out. What's the emotion? How does he feel about it in that moment? Angry, but not at his son. He's angry to his coworker because of what his coworker did. We see this emotion. Then next set in the sequence, the next sequence of this larger, larger seen is what? He goes to pick his son up. He goes to pick his son up at school and he's waiting in the car at a stoplight on his way to picking up his son and he's just annoyed. The annoyance that was at his co-worker is now on his son. Why did Peter have to get sick today? Any other day, but today he had to get sick. He's really sick because Peter does this. Sometimes Peter says he doesn't feel well when he doesn't want to go to school so I actually don't even know if he's genuinely sick. This could be Peter just being Peter and I'm going to get there and he's not sick and does he even realize how much is meeting meant to me? What this meeting meant for us because I'm the one who has to put the bread on the table. This is frustrating and he's not totally, totally mad at Peter, but it's best during its building. Now here again. We're faced with that conflict of values in this sequence but now he's mad at Peter. Do you see how the metopes we could say that's an inconsistency? That's my son. I want to be at work. But it's totally believable. It's completely human thing to do because consistent thing is this struggle with the values. Then we move on in the sequence. He's irritated and he gets his son home. His son actually is sick and he makes his son some soup. It clearly means a lot to Peter. If he's not actually better, because still sick, he feels better emotionally. Peter feels better. Peter nestle's up next to Sam and he's eating his soup and it's this moment in which Sam really feels like a dad. He feels like a father in a way that he hadn't before because this hadn't been his job before. He suddenly knows the reward of being there for a child in that specific way. Not that it wasn't their form in other ways, but this is a new way. He feels that reward and that feels special and that feels different. He feels in that moment, I made the right decision. I'm here with my son. Now we're back to the son winning out but it's in a different way. Because the first time his son won out, it was out of an obligation. He wasn't happy about it, but he was going to do it. He was a combative emotion with his coworker, but fine, I'll go do it. But this moment is different. This moment is choosing his son, but feeling good inside about it, that's different. Then the phone rings and it's his boss on the other end of the phone. It's not too late. The client's flight was delayed and if you leave right now, you could get here and we could still have this meeting. Suddenly, he's there carrying for assignment. Suddenly the opportunities back. Maybe when he was feeling that emotion and settled into it with his son, he had made peace with the fact that he wasn't going to be there at least for the moment but now the opportunities back and he's sitting there going, maybe Peter is going to fall asleep and you go to bed. You won't even know that I'm gone. I could slip out. Go to the meeting, come back, Peter wouldn't even know I'm gone, it could be fine. Another value of conflict's back. In that moment we actually don't know what he's going to pick, but we see that, do you see how in that moment? We're, what's he going to choose? What is he going to do? We wouldn't feel that. I don't know. I really don't know what Sam is going to do. We wouldn't have that tension as a reader, as a viewer. You hadn't set up the sequence in such a way that you gave me these variety of conflicting emotions. Just seeing that plays out. I've set this up in just some writing in bits of it. Not totally what would be in sequence, but I'd how might that actually look in text and I've added in some other things that you'll see. But I'm going to pop texts up here on the screen and we'll look at this. This seemed picks up where he would be getting Peter. He's just got Peter from school. Nice. Putting him in the car, Sam buckled Peter's seat belt, "How are you feeling?", he asked. Peter shook his head. "I feel sick." Well, we'll stop by the store and get some soup and go home. He felt the boy's forehead hot. Peter began to cry, "My stomach hurts". His voice was high and thin. You see how in that moment, what we see is Sam being the father with the confirmation that Peter's not feeling well. He's focused on his son, he's focused on what's happening. Then you might have that scene where they go home and he's giving Peter the soup. Sam held Peter and watched the boy sleep. He could see his lashes fluttering and noticed a small scar on his forehead. How had he gotten that? I should know. Sam thought. The boy felt like a jewel. One he must keep safe, that others, the world life was trying to mar, and it was up to him to see that any cuts that were made became facets of beautiful stone, not scratches. Stones, the meeting. If he hadn't missed it, he could made the sale. The biggest of his career. What am I doing? He said aloud. This was not how it was supposed to be. He'd had such a different plan for his life. We see in this instance how it builds over multiple scenes. 8. Conflict in One Scene: Let's look at it now and what it might look like if it's all happening, if not in one scene in a very tight sequence. In the case we talked about it's happening over multiple scenes, somewhat more spread out but what about when it's really all happening in one go more or less. We're going to look at a similar situation, slightly different, but about the same deal only how would that look if it were nestled into one scene? Then one of the real challenges with a scene like this where we're going to see more than one emotion just right there in the same scene is not making your character seem inconsistent, which means that you really want to set up the conflicting emotions in separate scenes beforehand is a way that it's often done. For our situation, we would probably have some scenes where he was enjoying being a father, some scenes where he enjoys being at work and then some scenes where he felt frustrated by the conflict. They felt frustrated by missing out on work, or missing out on his son. We want to set that up before you do a scene like this where it's all happening in one because that it's not so unexpected to us. The reason the following scene is going to work is because we understand as readers when we reach it, what the value conflict is, we know how Sam somewhat feels about things and it's going to work because it's conveyed in multiple ways. Doing it in the same scene would be a kin to Sam going and picking up Peter from school because he feels ill. In that scene, he's choosing his son and then he's driving in the car, was still in the same scene and the phone rings. When the phone rings, he answers the phone and it's his boss. The phone rang. Sam picked it up. "Where are you?" It was Fletcher. "I had to pick up my son; he's sick. Look, I can make this happen. Just give me an hour." Fletcher said something but Sam couldn't make it out over Peter's growing wails. He muted the phone, "Stop it. Now." He shouted toward the back. "This deal means everything and you're ruining it." It was a rare outburst and had the desired effect. Peter looks stunned and wipes his moist cheeks with the back of his hand. We've seen in that same scene and we've changed that the narrative from what I just described, but in that scene, what happens? The value conflicts there. Sam is still choosing his son, but we really see the anger of him. We see how much this means to him. He turns and he yells at his son in a way that he's never done it before. It says, it was a rare outburst that tells us what how much this means. Then he say he gets off the phone with his boss. He doesn't end up going into the meeting, because he just sees that Peter is just too ill and they go, and they purchased some soup and they home. Do you see how in that scene? We're seeing the value conflicts play out. He's choosing fatherhood, he's picking up Peter. But then for a moment there, he really react against it. He's really emotionally quite upset about it and it wounds. Peter, bruises him. In the scene, the value that wins out while it is being a father. We see conflicting emotions in it, in the single scene rather than through across several scenes as we just showed. In one scene, he's tenderly picking up his boy from school and then turning around and shouting at him for messing up the deal. That scene works because we built to it and it's very powerful because it is happening one right against the other, so we really feel those emotions happening. It's a very strong way to demonstrate this value conflict, but you want to make sure that if you do that, you don't want to overuse this one because if too many scenes were in one scene in such quick succession, he's behaving differently about something, then he will start to seem inconsistent. 9. Value Conflict via Exposition: The third category is doing it through exposition, and this is just where you describe what's happening. You describe how they feel. You're conveying the values at stake and the emotions that go with them through narration, either through the headspace of the protagonist without necessarily seeing it played out in action, or just from an authorial voice, a third person authorial voice. You can do this in a variety of ways. We're going to look at this from Great Expectations. In Great Expectations, if you've not read it, Pip is the main character. Pip grew up poor, working at a forge with his brother-in-law Joe who he loved very much, and he was sort of being an apprentice to Joe, and the expectation was that he would grow up to be a probably rather poor blacksmith as well. That had always been his lot in life, but through a series of fortuitous events, Pip is now in London, in the big city with money that he never had and he made himself into what he feels as a gentlemen, and Joe isn't quite that. Pip becomes very conflicted because Joe visits him and Pip is embarrassed by Joe, but at the same time, he feels bad that he's embarrassed by Joe. We have this sense in which he isn't quite happy with his new life in London, but he doesn't really want to go back to being at the forge either. We're going to pick it up here and Dickens writes, and this is in Pip's voice, "As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their influence on my own character, I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good. I lived in a state of chronic uneasiness, respecting my behavior to Joe. When I woke up in the night, I used to think with a weariness on my spirits that I should have been happier and better if I had never seen Miss Havisham's face and had risen to manhood content to be partners with Joe in the honest old forge" "Yet Estella, that's the girl he loves, was so inseparable from all my restlessness and disquiet of mind that I really fell into confusion as to the limits of my own part in its production" He goes on to talk about how even despite these feelings, they spent as much money as they could, they really lift it up. You see on that exposition, it's Pip's voice talking and he's just talking out through his emotions. It's just telling us, this is what I felt and this is how it is. Now I personally like reading that. I think it works especially well in a first person perspective in which the narrator is talking to the reader. But you can also feel how it's a slower experience. Everything else that we've looked at up to this point is action-based, and it feels fast and moving and it probably, and not probably, it does feel more emotionally powerful. The exposition, I think really does have a place, but when you choose to write that way, what you want to ask yourself is, why is this piece, one that benefits from my character explaining for himself? Or why does this scene benefit from the narrator describing the conflict that the character is feeling rather than seeing it play out. The exposition will not succeed well if we don't also have scenes in which those values come into conflict. You still need the others, but for scenes in which there's exposition, choose them wisely and think of them as breath in the narrative. If you have a scene, scene after scene, action, action, action, action, action, right? When is a good time and it depends on your story to take a breath. it doesn't always work. It depends on your narrative. Not all narratives need exposition. It depends on if you've chosen the authorial voice, you've chosen first person, third person, omniscient, etc. That's going to dictate whether you do this or not, because you can't just break voice without it affecting things. But if you're going to do it and if your narrative voice is set up for it, then where's the breath? Why is this a good scene for us to breathe and just taken his thoughts? Find that breathing place. It will not come until you've had a sufficient amount of action, because it's a breath. It's a moment away from all of the action to just think and let it be that. But do know that through exposition you are slowing the story down, so don't just throw in a bunch of exposition at a really high intense emotional scene, but we've been waiting and waiting for this action and here it is and oh, let's talk now. That's not what you want. Don't put a big old rain cloud on top of your actions. 10. Final Thoughts and Class Project: Let's recap some takeaways. Sorry, it's getting all cloudy out here now. [inaudible] Make sure you clearly know the conflicting values at stake. Make sure you know what they are. Make sure you know how your character feels about them. Make sure you set the groundwork in dramatizing these values and dramatizing this conflict throughout your narratives, set that groundwork. Make clear decisions about when you are going to show something over a series of scenes? When are you going to show it in one scene? When, if ever are you going to show it an exposition? Those are active decisions that you make and you should be able to justify why you did. Then use a variety of indicators, dialogue, action, etc, thought, to convey all of those things. Give us variety. We don't want dry. We want variety. If you do all of those things, that's really going to help set you up for this really interesting value conflict that's happening with your character, that your reader is going to be quick gripped by. It's going to really feel realistic and they will be very invested in it. Let me talk briefly about you assignments, your project. I keep calling them assignments because I taught for so long. But they're projects, they're skill share projects. You don't have to do it, but I do recommend if you do because I think it's interesting and helpful. It's always helpful to actually do it. I have to say, you can watch videos, listen to lectures, and read articles about how to do all of these things, so you're blue in the face. You will not really solidify it for yourself till you start to just do it. The first part of the assignment I'm looking at it here, is to just answer those three main questions that we have. I recommend that you choose a scene or several scenes and think about how you want them dramatized. You're going to answer those three questions. You're just going to answer them. What's at stake? What's going to win? How does he feel? Then in part two of this, the project. You're going to think about, how do I want to dramatize this? Do I want to dramatize it in one scene or over a series of scenes, or do I want to do it through exposition? Then in the third part, once you make these decisions, you are to write either to separate scenes that demonstrate the emotional conflict of your character. One scene that does, or an expository paragraph, you had to choose those and then write that out and see how it feels to you. They don't have to be long scenes, they can be quite short. Actually, it's a great exercise to do all three, to pick an idea, and after you've answered part one, then say, I'm going to do it through expository, I'm going to do it through in one scene, I'm going to do it over a series of two, three scenes, and see how each plays out. You'll learn so much doing that, that's all I'm going to say about that. I think it's a lot of information. Thank you for watching. If you enjoyed this, would you please leave a review because that helps me so much. If you know people who are interested in this subject matter, would you please share this video with them? Because, that's incredibly helpful for me and it let's me continue to make content for you. Let me know in the comments below what you thought of it. Let me know if there are other courses you're interested in or subject matter. That helps me too, because I'm really excited to be here and to teach these things. You can also find me in the social media links on my profile, on my YouTube channel, I'm on Instagram and I hope you will follow me there and I hope you will have a wonderful day, and that this helps you tremendously. Thank you so much for watching. Bye.