From Writers Helping Writers:
Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.
It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.
Conflict: PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION
Category: Increased pressure and ticking clocks, failures and mistakes, duty and responsibilities, losing an advantage, no-win situations, miscellaneous challenges
The character’s body being pushed past it’s limits due to exertion
Being depleted due to poor nutrition or starvation
An illness that ravages the character’s strength
Forced wakefulness that takes a physical toll
. . . .
Resulting Emotions: anger, anguish, defeat, defiant, despair, desperation, determination, dread, emasculated, embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, inadequate, powerlessness, regret, resentment, resignation, self-loathing, self-pity, shame, tormented, unappreciated, uncertainty, vulnerability, worthlessness
Link to the rest at Writers Helping Writers