top of page
  • Writer's picturegalpod

Conflict in Neverwhere

Read this on

Photo by Jeet Dhanoa on Unsplash

Conflict is perhaps what I find the most difficult to write. I firmly believe that most people are actually good people and are just coming at the story from a different perspective. Yes, I believe that people who are racist, misogynistic, ableist, and don't accept others are generally good people with a different point of view. I disagree with their point of view and think it's reprehensive if they condone any kind of violence, but I think they are, like everyone, people with flaws and strengths.

This is why I find villains particularly difficult, and villains are usually at the crux of a good conflict. Villains are the easiest way to create conflict in a story, even if you give them good reasons for their behaviours. In science fiction and fantasy, it's a little easier, I find, to create villains. When writing about real life, I can't bring myself to create a purely evil character. That hardly ever happens in real life. What does happen in real life is people who have agendas that are different from the heroine's.

Anyways, thinking about internal and external conflict is something that I think would benefit my writing, which is why it has a prominent place in my template:


Outer conflict

Inner conflict

In Neverwhere, it was easy.

Beware of spoilers

As before, here's the now-mandatory cute puppy picture to make sure you don't accidentally read spoilers.

Conflict in Neverwhere

Outer conflict - The plot is a classic Quest: Door wants to figure out who killed her family, and her father's last diary entry mentions Islington. She finds the Angel Islington, and he sends her (and Richard) to get a key from the Black Friars. Once they have survived The Ordeal and obtained the key, they must find Islington again. All the while, they are being hunted (or prodded along, as it turns out) by the villains, Mr Vandermar and Mr Croup. By the way, these are fantastic fairy tale villains, true mastery by Gaiman. They are pure evil; there are no extenuating circumstances for these two.

Inner conflict - The inner conflict is mostly Richard's and is between his normal life in London Above and the exciting life of London Below. He also experiences this conflict as doubting his sanity. Richard keeps having feelings towards any (all, if we're honest) of the myriad of women who surround him (Door, Anaesthesia, Hunter, Lamia). But those are flickers and do not take up any actual space in the book.


Hey there! Thanks for reading :) I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Just click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner, or reply to the email.

102 views0 comments


Subscribe to Narrative Notes

In my newsletter, Narrative Notes, I share updates on my latest works, including upcoming book releases and progress on ongoing projects. You'll also get the inside scoop on my writing process, including story notes and characters' backstories, as well as exclusive stories that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

bottom of page