The holy grail for most commercial fiction writers is the GMC formula. If you’re not familiar with GMC, it boils down to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Every main character needs an internal and external GMC to make the plot work.
I hate conflict in real life. I shy away from butting heads, yelling to the point of exhaustion, banging my head against a stubborn wall. I shrink from conflict.
My characters blossom under conflict. This is the opposite of me in my real life. My characters go to the mattresses. I engage in dialogue and look for common ground. My characters are invested. It is rare for me to invest in anything except my 403b and a box of cupcakes.
Not to say I let people win. I practice the Fabian Strategy–thanks 30 rock–or I engage in hacking. I preserve the good of the order and sometimes you have to make the other side think they had one.
Back to conflict in writing this is a struggle. I go back to the same “stuck between the devil and the wide blue sea conflicts” I have used before. I need to do more fighting and engage in more conflicts.