What's the connection between finding multiple conflicts (finding atleast 4 of the 6 universal conflicts), and a 3-act ratio of beginning, middle, and ending?
John Friedlander asked: "Look at the 6 universal conflicts. Push yourself to listen for at least 4. Most stories consist of a specific 3-act ratio of beginning, middle, and ending:"
I understand the different types of conflicts, and that looking for as many different types of conflict as possible helps the story build complexity and interest as multiple hurdles interact. This seems to relate to what I've seen elsewhere described as the "A story" (for a corny example, boy meets girl); the "B story" (boy's new relationship with girl makes his dog jealous); the "C story" (boy vs. girl vs dog threatens boy's job security) and the "D story" (boy loses job, jeopardizing his ability to pay rent to long-suffering landlord). But I'm stumped by your marrying the two ideas of finding multiple conflicts and a 3-act ratio of beginning, middle, and ending. These feel like separate issues to me. What's the connection?
The connection between the universal conflicts and the beginning/middle/ending is really just about building out your ideas into a rough story. So rather than saying boy meets girl, we would suggest thinking of it as:
- Beginning–boy meets girl who is in another relationship
- Middle–boy tries to court girl and have her run away with him
- Ending–boy and girl and up in Aruba together sipping margaritas
We'd then suggest doing this rough outline for each conflict. So you've got the concept, but taking it one step further and thinking of the conflict in three parts Beg/Mid/End can be very helpful in comparing the options, seeing which can fit together, and eventually acting on one of them.