How To Add Unexpected Conflict From The Show “Leverage”

Picture 029Some ordinary things seem so benign. For example, a trip through a raspberry patch in September. My family absolutely loves to hit the orchards and pick-your-own berry patches. A few years back something happened that makes me ever vigilent when I go to the raspberry patch with my kids.

The picture above is a banded garden spider we saw at the raspberry patch five years ago. The hand is my husbands. I love orchards, but


In fact, I hate spiders so much that my boys come running with shoes to help me when I see them. Tiny or big, either way I am ready to climb a chair, the wall, the window treatments just to get away from them.

This is a bit of unexpected conflict in our day. It simply comes from something I hate, making an ordinary trip to the orchard a bit extraordinary. 

I must admit that I wasn’t all that thrilled to see that spider at my favorite orchard. For the longest time I picked on the outside row so I could always see what was coming into contact with my skin. Anyone watching me probably thinks I’m a bit neurotic. All I have to say is, “WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SPIDERS HERE!”

How can we use this experience to find unexpected conflict in our novels? Let’s take a peak at this clip to get some ideas.

Did you notice in this clip that something unexpected about Elliot’s character adds a dose of conflict? He hates baseball. Now Hardison is less than impressed with him. It could add a bit of a rift in their relationship if he follows it very far, especially if Elliot didn’t appreciate the 13 hours Hardison spent creating the TV add.

A few different types of conflict can also cause problems because Elliot doesn’t like baseball. He is trying to pretend to be a baseball player so they can get the inside scoop on a job. It makes it much harder to convince people if you don’t even like the sport.

Think of your story. How could you add character likes, dislikes, and fears to create unexpected conflict? Even in an ordinary place, conflict can be lurking if you find a way to connect your character to an unexpected result.

What are some of your likes, dislikes, and fears that cause conflict in your life?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

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