In order to give something away, you have to have something.

This is a lesson I had to teach my daughter when she was learning about double-digit subtraction. “You can’t take something away from nothing” is a universal truth that applies to more than just math. You can’t give financially, spiritually, physically, or professionally if you don’t have something to begin with.

If you have no singing or song-writing skills, you can’t send a song to a major label for a recording contract. If you have no cows, you can’t give your family hamburgers or even milk from your backyard.

And if you have no conflict in your story, you won’t be able to give away your novels.

Conflict is an adhesive.

If you have enough conflict in your story, you’ll be able to give your characters plenty of ways to make sure the reader sticks with the story.

Conflict is an electrical outlet.

If you have enough conflict in your story, your readers will be energized in the flow of the story as they watch your characters overcome all obstacles.

Conflict is a Sherpa.

If you have enough conflict in your story, it will lead your readers to the highest mountaintop and back down to safety.

Not putting enough conflict in your novel is like trying to borrow from zero. Your reader will find out that there’s nothing there.

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