Internal and External Conflicts in “The Barrier”

conflictIn the past people often told me that there was no conflict in my stories. I found it hard to understand why they said that, because I did have conflict. It took me a long time to realize that most of the conflict in my stories was internal to the characters and these inner conflicts did not come across in my writing.

I didn’t know how I could bring out these internal conflicts in my stories, so I decided to shift more to interpersonal conflict in my stories. I felt it would be easier for me to depict interpersonal conflict. Although, I was reluctant to do that because I felt that internal conflict was more important.

Over the last few weeks I have tried to absorb the feedback I have had on my last movie: “The Barrier”. I started to see that interpersonal conflict can be used as a metaphor for internal conflict. in the barrier. I’m sure I had been aware of that from other people’s work, but had not thought of it for my own work. It seems pretty obvious now.

When I developed the movie, I thought of the characters Arthur Macdonald, Brandon Baker and Dennis Kennedy as different aspects of myself. The conflicts between them, and with some of the other characters, reflect my own internal conflicts.

I can see places in the story where I have used this concept, although I didn’t realize it at the time. There is one point where Arthur argues with Dennis in a scene and in the next scene Arthur tells Ling that he actually agreed with Dennis. I know that I had the same kind of argument internally many times in my career.

Over the next few months I will decide what I should do with “The Barrier”. I think I can use this insight to develop the story further. Certainly it should allow me to work more depth into the interactions between these characters.

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