Genre & Theme
3 min read

A short guide to writing stories where the inner conflict is status

A woman who has achieved her dream, and gained the success and recognition she deserves.

Stories that focus on status as an internal conflict genre explore the protagonist's journey to redefine or attain a specific social standing or reputation. In this article, we will examine the internal content genre of status-driven stories, provide guidance on when to choose this genre, discuss its conventions, and identify obligatory scenes.

What is the status genre?

A status-driven story revolves around a protagonist's quest for recognition, power, or acceptance within a particular social context. These stories often involve characters striving to climb the social ladder or maintain their position at the top. They may also involve characters who are forced to confront their own privilege, biases, and the ethical implications of their actions as they gain more power and prestige.

Status is an internal content genre. Internal content genres explore themes of personal growth, self-discovery, and transformation. By highlighting the protagonist's emotional development, internal content genres create a more in-depth and layered narrative.

When to choose status as an internal content genre

Focusing on status as an internal content genre is a good choice for writers interested in exploring themes of ambition, identity, and the complexities of social hierarchy. If you want to examine human desires for validation, power, and the consequences of pursuing these goals, a story centred on status may be a perfect fit.

Conventions of the status-driven stories

The status genre is characterized by several key conventions:

  • Protagonist's desire: The protagonist has a strong desire for a specific status or social recognition, which serves as the driving force behind their actions.
  • Social setting: The story takes place within a social context where hierarchy, power dynamics, and social expectations are central themes.
  • Personal transformation: The protagonist undergoes a significant personal transformation as they pursue their desired status.
  • Moral dilemmas: The protagonist faces moral dilemmas or ethical challenges that force them to question their values and motivations.
  • External forces or obstacles: External forces, such as rivals, societal expectations, or personal limitations, impede the protagonist's progress toward their desired status.

Obligatory scenes of the status-driven story

There are certain scenes that readers expect to encounter in a status-driven novel:

  • Status desire establishment: The story introduces the protagonist's desire for a specific status or social recognition, setting the stage for their internal conflict.
  • Initial pursuit: The protagonist begins their pursuit of their desired status, taking actions that demonstrate their commitment to achieving their goal.
  • Moral dilemma: The protagonist faces a moral dilemma or ethical challenge that forces them to question their motivations and values.
  • Personal transformation: The protagonist undergoes a significant personal transformation, often as a result of the challenges they face in their pursuit of status.
  • Climactic confrontation: The protagonist faces a climactic confrontation or turning point that tests their commitment to their desired status and the personal changes they have undergone.
  • Resolution and emotional growth: The story concludes with the protagonist's resolution of their status conflict, often accompanied by emotional growth and a newfound understanding of themselves and their values.

Tips for writing a compelling story where the inner conflict is status

To create a captivating story centered around status, consider the following tips:

  • Conduct research on the social, cultural, and historical context of the era or setting to ensure your story is authentic and accurate, taking into account the importance of status within that context.
  • Develop engaging characters with distinct personalities, motivations, and backstories that reflect their desires and struggles related to status, allowing readers to connect with their journeys.
  • Create a vivid and immersive setting that captures the nuances of the society and its hierarchy, using rich descriptions and sensory details to illustrate the environment in which status plays a significant role.
  • Craft an engaging plot that explores the dynamics, conflicts, and relationships surrounding status, maintaining reader interest and building tension throughout the story.
  • Use authentic language and dialogue that reflects the social norms, values, and customs related to status within the society, while remaining accessible to modern readers.
  • Incorporate themes and issues relevant to status, such as power dynamics, social hierarchies, ambition, and self-worth, to add depth and complexity to the story.
  • Balance character-driven and plot-driven elements, ensuring that both the individual journeys of the characters and the overarching challenges related to status are integral to the narrative.
  • Employ a variety of narrative techniques, such as multiple perspectives or an omniscient narrator, to provide a comprehensive and nuanced portrayal of the characters' struggles and triumphs with status.

To write a story about status as an internal content genre, you need to understand the protagonist's motivations, the social context, and their emotional journey. By following the conventions and obligatory scenes of this genre, you can create an engaging narrative that explores themes of ambition, identity, recognition, and power. Make sure to focus on your protagonist's emotional journey to create a thought-provoking story that captivates readers.



  1. Coyne, Shawn. 2015. The Story Grid. New York, NY: Black Irish Entertainment.