But do we need these extra conflicts? Ever been reading a book and found the story is dragging because the added conflict seems so unnecessary? Maybe it’s easily solvable, maybe the main character is having emotions you don’t connect with, or maybe they think they can’t go on without something/someone when it’s perfectly clear to you, the reader, that they can.
How do you know if you have the right amount of conflict?
First, identify your reading pet peeves. What kinds of conflicts frustrate you? What do you see as unnecessary? Consider how much your audience will share your perspective, and write accordingly. Also consider if there's anything these peeves from different stories have in common. Usually, the common thread is predictability.
I've found this to be a good rule: If the conflict has an easy solution that readers will be able to predict, cut it or change it. For example, in the “hero’s journey” story model, I find the “refusal of the call” phase to be useless and boring. Of course your hero needs a good reason to say yes, but since we already know there’s a whole lot of book ahead, we already know that they do say yes. Having extra pages where a character thinks things over, needs convincing, and argues with others about why they just can’t go is maddening to me. We already know that eventually, they will go.
Another example is a fight with a loved one where two pages later, they both apologize and forgive each other. Now, sometimes this is a reoccurring thing that denotes a deeper issue, and one or both parties walk away still frustrated, because they know it will happen again. This can be something that builds throughout the story until the real, core issue is finally addressed and resolved at the end. But I’m talking about a fight that was thrown in for extra conflict, but ended up being useless. If the characters are going to genuinely forgive each other on the next page, what was the point of the argument?
Don't waste your reader's time. Think about where the reader thinks the story will go next, then go somewhere else. You'll probably find something much more worthwhile and a lot more fun down a stranger road.