So what is all this about friends and enemies and battles?
When we last saw Dorothy she had been swept up by a tornado and dumped at the outskirts of Oz. The good witch Glinda (her mentor) comes to her rescue and urges Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road. And what happens to Dorothy on that road? She encounters . . . Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion become Dorothy’s good friends (allies). And it’s a good thing Dorothy has three new friends because they have to make it through the Haunted Forest and field of poppies (tests) and then battle the Wicked Witch (enemy).
The idea of Tests, Allies, and Enemies exists even in real life. Think of your last job interview. I applied for a secretarial position at a law firm and had to take two hours of personality tests. Then a paralegal grilled me about my background and skill set and what I wanted from the job (more testing).Then I got to wait and see how the competition fared (the enemy) while my friends encouraged and supported me and told me of course I would get it (allies).
Getting married is full of tests, allies, and enemies. You’re constantly worried about your budget (a test). If you’re the bride, your bridesmaids and mother are giving you advice (usually allies, but possible enemies). If you’re the groom, your best man and father probably want you to curtail your spending (allies), but if you want to please your bride and she wants something fancy, your friends and family are getting in the way (enemies). You’re trying to focus on the future but all the details are wearing you down (more tests). And so on.
Those are just two examples of real life tests, allies, and enemies. Think of the branches of your story and your characters. What friends will help them (allies)? What people will prevent them from reaching their goals (enemies)? What obstacles do your characters have to overcome (tests) and how do these prepare them for the future? Weave these three pieces into your story as the plot progresses and you’ll create interest and intrigue.