A Book Without Conflict is Boring by Patty Blount
When I was a baby writer, I used to read quite a bit of fan fiction -- X Files, Outlander, Supernatural. One of the most frequent mistakes new writers make is no conflict between their primary characters, which makes a boring experience for readers.
Conflict drives plot. It also reveals character.
Experts will tell you that conflict fits one of these types:
- Character vs. Self, where a character battles an inner demon such as guilt or grief, etc.
- Character vs. Character, when characters battle each other like Holmes and Moriarty or Superman and Lex Luthor
- Character vs. Society, when characters battle what's generally accepted. Think Starr in The Hate U Give going up against systemic racism, or a duke unable to marry the love of his life because she's a commoner, or Katniss in the Hunger Games.
- Character vs. Technology, when characters battle a computer, the internet, a medical breakthrough, etc. Think Sarah Connor vs. Terminator.
- Character vs. Nature, when characters fight against rising tides or forest fires or extreme cold. Think Jack London's To Build a Fire.
- Character vs. Supernatural, when characters fight for the right to exist against an unknown force. It could be good vs. evil, it could be aliens, it could be ghosts.