Lately, I've been working on what makes for a believable, enjoyable conflict in a novel or short story. This is something that I struggle with, both as a writer and a reader. I don't like blood, guts, zombies--all those things that are so popular and supposedly necessary to make snappy, popular fiction. To understand what I'm missing, I've come up with a randow series of questions about conflict. If you have time, I'd appreciate your views on conflict in the comments. Thanks!
What kind of stakes are you looking for in a story? Do you find any stakes overused?
What kind of opening draws you in (high tension/drama, narrator dialog, etc.)?
Do you pick reading material because of the conflict involved?
What do you consider good examples of conflict (either single scenes or entire books)?
What makes conflict unbelievable?