Crisis is an event, a point in time.
Conflict is ongoing friction that drives the plot.
The crisis happens when the conflict reaches a turning point just before or at the same time as the climax. The opposing forces in the story meet, and the conflict becomes most intense.
The climax is the result of the crisis.
Source: Elements of Literature PDF, www. nps. gov.
The crisis is “a moment of uncertainty and tension that results from earlier conflicts in a plot. During crisis, it is unclear if a protagonist will fail or succeed in his struggle.”
Source: Glossary of Literary Terms, Buzzle, buzzle.com.
In this Star Trek example, (see 1, 2, 3),
the crisis is an action, the resolution is Kirk’s reaction, and the conflict is the process of Kirk’s decision.
Action alone is overt entertainment, whereas conflict provides introspection, examination of choices, and exploration of values. There are stakes, which the hero has to navigate and negotiate. This drives character development, growth, and change.
Source: Crisis vs. Conflict: Engaging a Reader with the Protagonist’s “Inner” Story, Jerz’s Literacy Weblog, jerz.setonhill.edu.
BATTLEFIELD — Jordin Sparks