So let's play a little game. If you are a writer, use your own books. If you are a reader, use a few of the books you've read and enjoyed. Here's the challenge. In one sentence of reasonable length, describe the central conflict in the novel. Keep the descriptions of the protagonist/antagonist to a minimum. Instead, focus on the nature of the conflict itself. You can do this in your own blog, in the response to this post, or elsewhere. But that's your assignment. Go for it.
Here are my attempts.
Mary of the Aether - In a small rural town, a girl receives the last drop of magic in the world and confronts an ancient evil, all while navigating the various anxieties of high school life.
Mary of Shadows - After receiving a magic called aether, a girl struggles to figure out what to do with it, as she is tempted to follow a more destructive path.
Mary of Starlight - After leaving a big mess in her wake, a girl must must return and attempt to set everything right, whatever the cost.
Children of the Mechanism - Slaves wander through a massive factory, trying to make sense of their world while avoiding the cruel robots who rule the place.
Shadows of Tockland - A runaway tries to acclimate to life in the circus while the world around him becomes increasingly hostile and dangerous.
Garden of Dust and Thorns - A young woman must find her way to the heart of a mystical garden, where a magic exists that might defeat the evil army of Deti Maranam, Lord beneath the Sand.
Deep Water (Books One and Two) - A young man tries to come to terms with a genocidal tragedy in his own village by seeking revenge against those he believes are responsible.
There you go. Now, those descriptions don't give much detail about characters, personalities, settings, or even the particulars of the plot, but I think they give a good sense of what drives each story. And, after all, in the end, isn't every story about conflict of one kind or another?
Okay, readers and writers, your turn. If you do this on your own blog, send me the link.