A novel is a character trying to resolve a problem. The very nature of a problem means there is conflict.
Unlike real life where most of us try to avoid conflict, in our writing we must dive into it.
When I run a weekend workshop, I start out getting everyone to write the idea for their book in one sentence. That isn’t easy. I blogged about that last week.
Then we fill out the conflict box. This is an interesting exercise because not only does it force the writer to find the core conflict, they also have to identify their protagonist and antagonist; which often causes issues.
Here is a brief slideshow on the Conflict Box: