In school, we learned about three kinds of conflict in a novel; man vs. self, man vs. man and man vs. nature. I remember trying to stump my English teacher by listing books that didn’t fall into these three descriptions. She always managed to explain why said book fit into one of these three, but I didn’t always agree with her.
I find identifying the central conflict helps to keep my novel on track. My characters have a tendency to run away with the central conflict and turn it into man vs. self or man vs. man if I let them wander too far afield.
There’s another not listed but I’ve seen listed other places, person vs. fate. This is where a character is compelled to follow his or her destiny or fate. While many person vs. fate books also fall under person vs. man or another category, it is a popular conflict and I think it’s worth noting.
The list below asks, “What types of novel do you enjoy reading?” While I’ve read and enjoyed novels of each type, I’d have to say that person vs. self, person vs. the paranormal and person vs. society are my favorites.