So, here I am in waiting no-man’s-land. I am forging ahead with my wip regardless though. Even if they don’t want it, it’s great practise and I have to say, I’m quite enjoying writing it. I even like my heroine for a change! 🙂
Anyway, I wanted to talk about a comment Janet left on my blog about conflict and how it happens in the present. I think I mentioned in the last post but I thought I’d expand a bit here. I never really got this to be honest, I mean, come on, of course conflict happens in the present. And in the past too right?
Well yes. And no. The conflict that we deal with in our stories may have been seeded in the past, but it happens only in the present. For example, the hero of my current wip has been looking after his sister for the past 12 years (this is the seed of his conflict). He’s the protective sort and has been doing this quite happily with no problems. He’s not conflicted about his need to protect at all.
Until he meets my heroine. Why? Because she does NOT want to be protected. So here he is, calmly going about his protective business which, he assumes, the heroine will naturally see eye to eye with since no one else has called him on this behaviour before (apart fom his sister but that’s different ’cause she’s his sister right?). But lo and behold, the heroine says ‘I don’t need protecting buddy so back off.’ So instantly we have conflict. And it’s happening in the present. Yes, the basis for it is the fact that he’s been looking after his sister for years, but it’s never been a problem for him until now.
Same with my heroine. She’s escaping over-protective parents and wants to do things for herself. Not a problem, no conflict – until she meets my protective hero. And then it’s conflict all the way baby!
Now, you could compare this to an earlier incarnation of this story where I (overdosing on internal conflict!) gave my hero a dead fiance. This was fine but when he met the heroine, there wasn’t anything other than a dead fiance to hold him back from a relationship with her. There was nothing about the heroine in particular that made him feel conflicted – other than the fact that she was a woman and he was wary of loving again! 🙂 Thus, when they met, there wasn’t much in the way of conflict happening – all his conflict was in the past. Does that make sense?
Anyway, that’s my understanding of it and no doubt there’s heaps more still learn about this angle. Anyone got any other thoughts? Might as well think about that rather than thinking about our subs/competition entries huh? ;-