Using Imbalance to Create Confict in a Plot: A Steampunk Perspective

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Imbalance can take many forms in a plot. It can be an imbalance of power, and power can take many forms: physical power, intellectual power, emotional power, just for starters. It might be an imbalance of status: academic, cultural, societal. It might be an imbalance of emotions, where one character loves/hates a second character, while this second character doesn’t feel that emotion at all. All these sorts of imbalance can be used to create tension, tension creates conflict, and conflict is what pushes a plot into motion. Imbalance can create interesting contrasts in your characters and settings.

Need an example? Think of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, with the plot revolving around social inequality like a wheel around an axel. Dickens was to revisit this theme again and again. All of Oliver’s adventures are due his poverty, and he would have had no escape if it wasn’t for the fact he was the scion of a comfortable…

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