Examine the conflict between two or more characters.  What are their motivations?  Is one of the characters right and the other wrong?  Do they just have differing opinions and goals?  Are they both wrong?  What are the methods the characters use to achieve their goals?  Are they bad methods, even if the goal is worthwhile?  Why does the author present the conflict in this manner?  What is the author trying to make you think or feel?     Conflict is not the same as plot. 

Stresses and Strains
Conflicts is a Point of View in A.E. Hinton's Novel The Outsiders

Almost everyone is familiar with the conflict between the Empire and the Rebels in the movie Star Wars.  It is a conflict between good and evil, but real life is seldom like that.  In the novel The Outsiders, the conflict results from two good people who just have very different views of the situation thy are stuck in.  Ponyboy resents his older brother Darry, who is in charge of him.  Ponyboy doesn't do this just because he's a kid and all kids want to rebel.    Although many young people resent a parent's authority over them, in Ponyboy's case this is worse because the person who is in charge of him is Darry.  Because Darry is only Ponyboy's older brother, Ponyboy has real reasons to think Darry shouldn't ell him what to do.  On the other hand, Darry is stressed out because he knows that the courts have given him all the responsibilities of a parent, and he is not ready to be a parent.  These two different views of the situation create all the stresses between these two characters.