Create badass conflict

It's funny that we try to either avoid or solve conflict in real life. The true artistry of being a writer is our ability to create conflict. Real, badass conflict that makes the readers sit at the edge of their seats is what we're aiming for. Page turning conflict. Heart wrenching conflict.  Conflict that is hard for you to write, that makes you the most uncomfortable, usually turns out to be the best writing we do.  So let's go over some points that might help you create more interesting and complicated conflict in your stories.

One of the most basic elements that make a protagonist interesting is that they are flawed. Their flaws should be a barrier that keeps them from reaching whatever goal they need to accomplish. Does your character need to climb to the top of a tower? Well then make him/her terrified of heights. Maybe this keeps your character from reaching the goal a number of occasions before finally achieving a seemingly impossible task.  Even more to this point, the decisions your protagonist makes should drive the story and create even worse conflict. That tower he/she needs to climb and fails? Every time he/she doesn't make it to the top, someone suffers another tragedy. Conflict from all directions.

One point that specifically speaks to writers of fantasy or urban fantasy is the use of magic. The magic should never be a crutch and there should always be some price the protagonist needs to pay in order to either use it. The best conflict comes when the repercussions of using that magic is negative. If your world relies on perfect, no questions asked magic then it becomes predictable and boring. Even better, let your character be wrong every now and again. We regular mortals are wrong - often. Let their decisions reflect reality where they either misjudge a situation or go about it for the wrong reasons. (Maybe even because of one of those aforementioned personality flaws I mentioned earlier.) Ego can cause some of the most interesting conflicts imaginable.

Finally, if all else fails, there's always Murphy's Law - If it can go wrong, it will. Toss road blocks every chance you get. Do they need to turn left? Well, that's uphill, in the rain, with greased streets, and zombies blocking their path. (You don't really need zombies  but you get what I'm saying.)  Conflict makes life unbearable but fiction exciting. Put all of your own baggage on the pages. Everything that could go wrong or has gone wrong in your life you should use in your stories. Things that terrify you - use them. If you make it your personal goal to terrorize your protagonist then your story will be something people want to read over and over again. Make conflict in your stories numerous and badass. Now it's time for me to go and deal with the conflict in my personal life - packing my house for a move next week. Goodnight, sexy kittens!