Modernist manuals of writing often conflate story with conflict. This reductionism reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options.

No narrative of any complexity can be built on or reduced to a single element. Conflict is one kind of behavior.

There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin is one of our foremost American novelists, author of the Earthsea novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, and many other acclaimed works of fiction, and a prolific essayist on narrative structure and the power of story, featured in her 2015 book, Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, an outstanding guide for writers.