I was reading a great article trying to get focused on finding theme-based conflicts for my main character that tied to the over-arching project's conflict.
The following exercise I found in 'The Writer,' Magazine, March 2010 edition on page 35.
"Part One: Ask yourself what the character most desires, substituting your own desires.
-What does she care about? What strongly motivates her?
-What is she actively moving toward or trying to get? If you know she's involved in something, be aware of that and create an actual measurable goal around it.
-What keeps her going-focused and committed- when the going gets rough?
-What needs to be done that only she can do? Or what needs to be saved, protected, solved or figured out that only she can do? What is her plan for doing this?
Part Two: Make a list of antagonists who trip up your character on her way to achieving her goals. Think beyond one key antagonist-the villain. To keep the conflict realistic, create as many antagonists as you can. Try for one or more of each of the basic antagonists as you can. Try for one or more of each of the basic antagonists, such as: other people, nature, societal demands and expectations, religious or spiritual beliefs, internal flaws, fears and prejudices."
Hope this two part exercise works well for everyone. Give it a shot... I'm going to do it, and if it doesn't reveal too much about my plot and story then I will post it...
Take care fellow writers or passionate readers!