I’m feeling a bit bad here. I’m really liking that people who read this blog get something from it to help in their writing, but please know that this is only my journey. And I am still travelling on it, nowhere near my destination yet. Which means that some of this stuff on here may be wrong. So please take my little lightbulb moments with a grain of salt. And let me know if I’ve made a mistake somewhere!
Re the whole conflict thing, when I said that conflict doesn’t need to be bad, I did mean that. But only because I always thought it had to be some terrible tragedy. So it was kind of interesting to figure out that it didn’t need to be. That I didn’t have to pile on dead fiances/wives/family/kids. However, that doesn’t mean that tragedy can’t be good conflict because obviously it can. It can be very, very strong. Now, the hero I talked about in the last post, whom I gave a dead fiance to, the only reason that was him living in the past was because there wasn’t anything about the heroine that tapped into my hero’s conflict. Perhaps if my heroine had sworn never to play second fiddle to anyone again, that would have been better. Or if she’d decided that her next relationship would mean marriage or nothing.
Even this current WIP, my hero has had tragedy in his life. He lost his parents in an accident and so had to look after his much younger sister, but his conflict isn’t to do with grief about his parents (though obviously it’s in there). It’s to do with responsbility and trying to do what’s best for people, even though they may not agree. So his conflict becomes a culmination of his experience – looking after his sister, taking over his father’s company, etc, etc, rather than a single moment of loss. And it’s conflict because my heroine does NOT want someone looking after her.
But again, that’s not to say that those moments of loss aren’t hugely terrible and don’t make good conflict. It’s just you can’t take them in isolation from the rest of a person’s life. My last sub was an excellent example of doing just that – my heroine lost her father in an accident (yes, I have a terrible tendency to kill off my character’s parents!) and that defined her character completely. It was like she’d had no life since her father died, which is not the case in real life because people move on after a tragedy (just ignore the fact that some people don’t!). They don’t forget, obviously, and it marks them, but it was like my heroine was stuck in some kind of time warp. And it didn’t help that I’d exaggerated her living safe ways. Not good for an aspirational heroine who was supposed to be a lawyer!
So, anyway, that’s my thoughts on this irritating conflict business. Really, talking about…say shoes for example is far less annoying. Or favourite books. And speaking of which, I bought Natalie Anderson’s Hot Boss, Boardroom Mistress on ebook a couple of days ago and if you’re looking for a sizzling reunion story then baby, you’ve found it!
Oh and for those of you worried about having too much sex without emotion in their stories (Jackie raises hand) here’s is a great post by Sam Hunter, a Blaze author, about sexual motivation. Certainly made me think.