I think that every novel I have ever read has given me a feeling of tension. Every chapter, at least in most cases, has had some kind of conflict. I simply cannot recall a relaxing book.
In a comfortable, relaxing book, nothing really happens. In the genres I read, there’s always a sense of danger, tension, or friction. Failure is catastrophic. Death is a great possibility. I wouldn’t say there’s always conflict, though.
The beginning of a book will occasionally start out happily, but conflict comes very soon. Lord of the Rings and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are a couple examples. But usually, books start in the middle of conflict.
The ending is usually the only place in a novel that is calm and relaxing. The danger has passed and the conflict resolved. I find that’s usually true, unless it’s part of a series or trilogy.
What do you think of this? Is conflict always necessary? Have you ever read a novel that’s mostly free of conflict? Looking forward to your comments.