Sometimes, conflicts and social breakdowns are all about speed. In fact I’d argue they’re all too often about speed – fast or slow.
- That sudden change can be too sudden, and society falls apart. An invasion, a plague, a social breakdown can be damaging because they’re so damn fast.
- Or you have a slow change is so slow that people adapt automatically and don’t even know there’s potential conflict brewing. Sure there’s technically a plague, but its spreading so slow (or slowed down by modern technology) no one ever realized they were courting an apocalypse. Conflict averted and you never knew it.
- That character who jumps to conclusions makes situations work.
- That character who takes things slow doesn’t address problems in time, and conflict is born.
When it comes to conflict in your world, you have to ask how fast and how slow things are happening. In fact, speed – or the lack of it – may be the only reason a conflict exists. Too often people ignore solutions or go outright Leroy Jenkins on a problem and help assist the apocalypse.
So when you’re writing about the conflicts in your world you have to ask just how fast events are happening and how rapidly people are reacting. That determines what happens, or even if there is a conflict. You might even find, once you think about it, that there’s conflicts you never noticed in the societies you made all because of speed . . .
Here’s what to ask when it comes to speed and conflicts.