Post Reply What does external conflict/motivation and internal conflict/motivation mean to a character?
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Posted 1/25/16 , edited 1/25/16
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


What does external conflict/motivation and internal conflict/motivation mean to a character? Can you give me an example?

Posted 1/25/16
External conflict: "Mom is being a stupid bitch."
Internal conflict: "I'm trying my best not to go shoot up a school."
Posted 1/25/16

Hrafna wrote:

External conflict: "Mom is being a stupid bitch."
Internal conflict: "I'm trying my best not to go shoot up a school."


^
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Posted 1/25/16

Hrafna wrote:

External conflict: "Mom is being a stupid bitch."
Internal conflict: "I'm trying my best not to go shoot up a school."


Okay. What about motivation?
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Posted 1/25/16
external motivation: something outside of oneself that drives one to act.
Example: completing a task because someone has you do so.
internal motivation: something inside oneself that drives one to act.
Example: completing a task because you want to feel a sense of personal accomplishment
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Posted 1/25/16
Using Hrafna's example to make a lil more sense:

External ex: Arguing with your mom about something. (You are in conflict with someone other than yourself.)
Internal ex: Wanting to call your mom a stupid bitch while at the same time, thinking it's not the right thing to do. (You are in conflict with yourself.)

With motivation, you might be referring to extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic is when you're motivated to do something because you'll receive something for it, such as an award. Intrinsic is when you're motivated to do something solely because it makes you feel something, such as enjoyment. It's basically what external and internal motivation would be, just that the proper terms are extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic ex: "That girl said, she'd kiss me if I won the race. I'm motivated!"
Intrinsic ex: "That's nice. I love to race. It's just so fun, that I'm naturally motivated."
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Posted 1/25/16 , edited 1/25/16
External and internal are the key words here. "Conflict" is the driving force behind a story, i.e. the protagonist's motivation to seek/adapt to changes.

An example of an external conflict would be an evil wizard conquering the land and the protagonist seeking to overthrow them, or the tire on their car being flat and the protagonist has to change it. The "enemy" or opposition is external.

An example of internal conflict would be the protagonist coming to accept their impending death due to terminal illness or coming to terms with their jealousy over their sibling's financial success. The "enemy" here is a facet of the self.

Edit: I see I've been beaten to the punch. I type too slowly when I've been drinking.
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Posted 1/25/16

harutoharuta wrote:

Using Hrafna's example to make a lil more sense:

External ex: Arguing with your mom about something. (You are in conflict with someone other than yourself.)
Internal ex: Wanting to call your mom a stupid bitch while at the same time, thinking it's not the right thing to do. (You are in conflict with yourself.)

With motivation, you might be referring to extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic is when you're motivated to do something because you'll receive something for it, such as an award. Intrinsic is when you're motivated to do something solely because it makes you feel something, such as enjoyment. It's basically what external and internal motivation would be, just that the proper terms are extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic ex: "That girl said, she'd kiss me if I won the race. I'm motivated!"
Intrinsic ex: "That's nice. I love to race. It's just so fun, that I'm naturally motivated."


Thanks.
Posted 1/25/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

Okay. What about motivation?

Far more factors are involved over an extended period of time to make someone think that the only solution to their pain is to kill themselves, which is really what e.g. school shootings are about. Their life is shit, they want to commit suicide, but what if it got better? Their life gets better, but then it gets worse. It gets better again, but yet again, it gets worse, and this time, worse than last time. And this happens again and again. What goes up, must come down, it's a roller coaster, their inner conflict. The pain gets worse, and worse every time, but.... what if it got better, some time? What if? There's always going to be a "what if", and it's this "what if" that stops them from committing suicide, so, they decide to erase "what if", decide to take control, and head down a point of no return, to do something that they can never take back. If they kill a bunch of people, then there's no "what if" anymore, their life is ruined, they can never return from that. There will never be anymore "ups". There's no roller coaster anymore. There's no inner conflict. There's with 100% certainly only going to be pain, so they can just kill themselves, with ease.

Usually, in shounen manga/anime, internal conflict is represented as something potentially extremely destructive taking over their consciousness, like Ichigo's inner hollow in Bleach, or Naruto's Nine Tails. This psychotic rage, and psychotic rage is what it's supposed to represent, is something that they're terrified of, because it can destroy everything. Like, if you lose control and kill people in reality (which is different from school shootings, by the way), then you're going to get locked up, everyone is going to hate you, and your entire life is ruined. They can give in to this destructive force, and solve all their problems, or they can overcome it, and they usually do their best to overcome it, until they no longer can, and it just slips out, little by little.

In Future Diary, the yandere girl's inner conflict is never represented but always present which is why she gives off that creepy uncertain vibe. If she were to be given an inner dialogue, it would most certainly be something like a constant yammering voice going "Don't do this, don't do that, do this, do that," because she's terrified of losing this one person who was once decent to her.

I don't know man, I'm tired. Thinking bores me. I'm gonna go play some more Diablo 3 :S
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Posted 1/25/16


It's okay.
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Posted 1/25/16 , edited 1/25/16
Who, me? I can explain anything, thought you knew that by now.


qualeshia3 wrote:
What does external conflict/motivation and internal conflict/motivation mean to a character? Can you give me an example?


Writing teacher once said that in terms of conflict/motivation, there are basically two protagonists in all of literature:
Rocky Balboa, and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Rocky struggles to overcome the odds against him, and wins the girl and respect if not the fight, while Scrooge struggles to hang on to his own conflicted views despite outside forces telling him to change, and ultimately realizes he was the one in the wrong all the time.

Man vs. World, and Man vs. Self--Guess which one is external, and which one is internal.
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Posted 1/25/16


Thanks.
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