CONFLICT IN EVERY SCENE/TENSION ON EVERY PAGE
Writing a romance? This goes to the heart of the story, the thing that keeps the reader reading…
• Conflict/tension between the hero & heroine drives plot and keeps the reader turning pages
• Romantic or emotional conflict is something inside the heroine and/or hero that creates a problem exacerbated by their situation
• Emotional conflict grows from feelings, doesn’t need to be logical, can’t be reasoned away. It comes from experience, how the character sees him or herself
• What prevents your characters from making that leap into love is more than just external forces. Love is a matter of the heart, and not about the events, no matter how dramatic
• The conflict must be both believable and substantial enough to carry the book
• Emotional conflict should always be in the characters’ and the readers’ minds.
• External conflict prevents your characters from accomplishing their goals
• Internal conflict which comes from the characters themselves (Theme) should go along with the external conflict of the story that comes from the circumstances, or is created by other characters. (Plot)
• Don’t substitute external conflicts for internal ones; enhance emotional conflicts by using externals to provide a context
• The best romances are built around a complex emotional conflict played out against an equally interesting story (external conflict) that forces the characters to deal with each other and their issues.
• Whatever is happening externally in the plot should somehow reinforce what’s going on internally in your characters’ hearts and minds. Think of the plot as a journey where your characters face obstacles that help them confront their inner demons and conflicts.
• So make sure the final resolution of the romantic conflict comes from inside your characters and not from the events.
Next time, I’ll cite some examples of how to make conflict work for you.
My current release, In Dreams, has a ton of conflict, both internal and external. Um, the heroine is running for her life…