As I’m sure you are aware, a story without a problem isn’t much of a story. It’s just someone journaling in their “dear diary” as they record their little moments of what happened.
The part that makes us stop and pay attention is the problem. The more complex and difficult, especially emotionally, the more enraptured the reader – and hopefully until the last page. At least, that’s the goal.
There are several layers to “good” problems or conflicts. There are foundational/cultural problems, there are familial conflicts, and personal issues. All of them together in various degrees of severity make for a really compelling story.
I’m still working on exactly what and how to do this. I have a few thoughts – which is where the historical research has come in very helpful. Knowing the background and history make for solid characters as well as a deep understanding of the way each would oppose or support some issue in their town.
I’m so thankful I don’t live in a “Stranger Than Fiction” world where the narrator is working out a plot twist or hole in which my bodily harm would play a leading role.
My problems are not the result of a god playing chess with my life and willing to risk me to accomplish something else. He does everything for my good – His glory. My problems bring me closer to Him so I end up wanting Him more than the solution.