How is conflict created? The ancient good guy/bad guy battle is a great example, only in modern day novels it is often more subtle. It’s the cheating wife and the decent husband. It’s the bigoted churchman and the humanitarian agnostic. Some of these choices will make your readers turn away because they don’t like to see their character types portrayed badly. For example, many women will ask why didn’t you pick the man to be the cheating husband and may very well decide they don’t like your story. You could play it safe and have the mean/incompetent supervisor versus the dedicated employee…everyone eventually has been there and can relate. Or perhaps you like the “man against the elements” conflict model. But is playing it safe what writing is all about? I don’t think so. I’d rather write two lines that are genuine than twelve volumes of politically correct mush.
The bottom line is to keep the various obstacles in the way of your main character. Give him roadblocks to overturn. They may be people or processes or mother nature, but keep them coming and then resolve them.