Is a Car Crash Conflict?External Conflict is what happens outside of the physical body: The obstacles your characters face throughout the story.
Internal Conflict is emotion—what your characters feel inside (unresolved life problems usually stemming from childhood or past relationships).
The best stories are ones where the character(s) must face past unresolved issues. Example:
After the accident that killed two children while she was babysitting at the age of fifteen, heroine refuses to let herself fall in love with this man who has two young children.
Your characters should learn something by the end of the story. If they don’t grow and learn, there is no story.
In the example above, the heroine needs to learn to forgive herself. The fire the kids started when she was babysitting was not her fault. She received third degree burns trying to save them, but in the end, she couldn’t. By the end of the book, she should learn a new life lesson: To forgive herself. She will learn this by being around hero’s children. The conflict/obstacles throughout the story should allow her to grow. Hopefully new conflicts will arise as she faces old ones.
Find your characters’ flaws and/or fears and then force them to face these demons throughout the story until the black moment that ultimately forces them to face that fear once and for all and learn something about themselves.
Ask yourself questions as you move from scene to scene:
Are the characters actions logical or realistic?
Is your story moving forward?
Are you spending too much time describing unimportant events as you move the characters from Point A to Point B?
Is the conversation between your characters interesting?
Is your reader going to empathize with your characters?
Is your reader going to want to turn the page to find out what happens next?
About the question: Is a car crash conflict? Does the crash move the story forward? Does it make the reader want to read on? Probably not. Unless it happens to the hero/heroine while he or she is running from the bad guy, it's just trouble.
Now tell me: What do your characters need to learn? Compassion? Gratitude? Forgiveness? Acceptance? What are their flaws and/or deepest fears?