Conflict and more conflict!

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Hi everyone!  I thought today I’d talk about conflict. None of us want it in our real lives but when it comes to a book or a movie, we sure do!  I’m a peacemaker at heart, and creating two lovely people at odds with each other can be challenging for me.  I’m working on my third book in my Heaven Christmas series, and it should be easy, right?

But some books are more stubborn than others! The second book in the series practically wrote itself, and I know the beautiful town of Heaven, PA, and all the lovely people that live there, so what’s my problem? CONFLICT!! Everything is so nice and the people are great, but where’s the tension, the holding my breath, wondering what will happen next?

It’s not there, I tell you!! So I plod along, knowing that without conflict there is no story. I wait for inspiration to hit. It always does. Sometimes I go for a walk and figure things out, sometimes it takes a while and is stubbornly hiding from me, but I always find the resolution to my problem.

Today I googled conflict and came up with a short list that we as writers already know — but a refresher might be good for you, as well as for me!

  1. First -no one wants to read about people living happily ever after–not even in a fairy tale. Bring on the angst!
  2. And yet a good novel isn’t just one big conflict. In romance, it’s not about car scenes or catching the bad guy–heck, we want to stay away from them unless we can somehow make the sexy bad-ass guy into a reformed hero. But good conflict is not so much about action, but comes from within. A classic formula of action, reaction, and complication.
  3. A scene can move the plot forward by unfolding action or revealing information. But it must also have a specific goal the main character wants to achieve–develop conflict that blocks the character from getting what she wants, and add complications to the plot as the character fails to reach her goal.
  4. things writers should think about :–who’s POV matter’s most?—-what are the external goals?—-what are the internal goals?–how will the internal and external goals oppose each other?–how do these goals fit into the overall plot?

AND THAT’ S JUST FOR STARTERS

So writers — what do you do to get your story fired up??

Tune in later this month for another saga about a writer’s woes, and the subject that makes every book come alive, and live on in your memory — CONFLICT.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Patrice Wilton
Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about. Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages. She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience. Her best selling books are the CANDY BAR series, SERENDIPITY FALLS series, and most recently PARADISE COVE and A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION series. She is a New York Times best selling author.  View website
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Patrice Wilton

About Patrice Wilton

Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about. Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages. She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience. Her best selling books are the CANDY BAR series, SERENDIPITY FALLS series, and most recently PARADISE COVE and A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION series. She is a New York Times best selling author.  View website

3 thoughts on “Conflict and more conflict!

  1. I always fill out a GMC chart for each of the main characters and the primary sub-characters. I have to know why they are in the story before I can write it. Then I fill out the Character Transformation sheet (Michael Hague) for each of the main characters. The purpose of both of these forms is to make you think about your characters and what is wrong in their lives. Why are they stuck? It’s always in the back story. Whatever is wrong with one of the main characters is the opposite of the other. Or, it’s the same, but for a different reason. Once I get the sheets completed, the plot starts to fill in on its own for me.

  2. As an panster, I let my muse go, and, more oftan than not, get wonderful surprises I couldn’t plot in advance. Once the magic happens, I DO take the time to create the character’s histories. Me and my husband had a brainstorming discussion about my WIP for Sweet Heat the other night, and I wrote the notes on my check register, along with some secondary characters we thought up. Helps to have a partner in crime, when you’re working out a plot, a character, or anything else pertaining to a story. Thanks for the inspiration, Patrice! Hugs

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