Choice plays a critical role in any story. Much of the meaning found in stories is derived from the choices a character makes, and their consequences. And yet, I feel that most characters make very few real choices over the course of their story. And I think that’s a good thing. Too many choices can overwhelm a person, just as too few can make for a boring story.
Now we’re getting into more straightforward aspects of dialogue: intentions, goals, and perspective/opinion.
Dialogue, along with prose and description, represent the 3 aspects of scene writing. Characters are either observing, taking action, or talking (sometimes to themselves). Among the 3, dialogue is unique in that it grants every character a voice of their own.
A conflict can be rooted in the main plot, it can be rooted in a relationship between characters, or it can be both. Here are a few strategies for creating a new conflict in a scene.
Within a scene each character has a goal and obstacles preventing them from achieving that goal. This means every scene contains at least one conflict, if every character is collaborating or competing to achieve the same goal.