How to Write a Conundrum
In general, moral and practical conundrums are not written, but observed. As you read and go about your life, pay attention to the choices that you and many other people make every day. Most of these choices have pretty low stakes and are not two difficult to make, but this is not always the case – which college should I go to? Should I do my homework, or comfort a friend who is in need? You will encounter such dilemmas frequently in life, and can then insert them into your writing.
VI – When to use a Conundrum
Conundrums can be used in both creative writing and formal essays. In creative writing, as discussed above, a conundrum is a great way to show a character’s personality as well as their limitations or flaws. Remember that readers gain information not just from how the character answers the dilemma, but also from what sort of moral or practical reasoning the character engages in. What kind of arguments does this character find persuasive? This tells us a lot about who he or she is. In addition, the choice of which dilemmas the character finds difficult to answer may reveal their personality.
In a formal essay, a conundrum (especially a moral conundrum) can be a great motivating question for the paper. In order to make an effective argument, you need to raise a good question – one that might be answered in multiple ways. Otherwise, your conclusions are obvious from the start and there’s no need to make an argument at all! A conundrum, by definition, is difficult to solve and might be solved in multiple ways. Thus, there’s room to pick one possible answer and make an argument for it.