**NOTE: This article was adapted from a section in our new book, The Break In.
In real life, sane people generally try to avoid dangerous, uncomfortable situations. In storytelling, you must learn to do the opposite. Creating reasons for your hero to fail or back out of the challenges presented to him or her is vital to making the audience care about your story.
Conflict is the cornerstone of great storytelling because it demands change. Our favorite heroes in movies are the ones who encounter the most difficult circumstances and, as a result, change for the better. Whether or not we realize it in the moment, we love stories with heavy conflict because they inspire us to make heroic choices when we encounter obstacles in our own lives.