Just got back from an Easter break and am feeling very writing deprived. Apparently it’s good to have a rest but I tell you five days without writing anything feels like torture to me. Luckily I wasn’t in the middle of a wip otherwise it would have been hell. Still, the one good thing about being away is that there was lots of opportunity for thinking time.
I’m currently writing a synopsis for a competition entry and it’s giving me gyp. Of course, synopses are the devil’s own work and this was annoying me in particular because it’s a rewritten version of my Feel the Heat story. Now rewriting previously rejected stories is HORRIBLE. Especially when they only have a passing acquaintance with conflict. Actually, scrub that, this story wouldn’t have known conflict if it leapt up and bit said story on the backside. Hence the complete rewrite. In fact, nothing remains of the original apart from the character names, the hero’s profession and that there is a protest involved. The rest of it has been totally done-over. Sounds good right? Well, it would be if I could get the conflict sorted. For nearly a year and a half I’ve been trying to get the conflict on this story okay. Yep, that’s right, a year and a half. You’d think it would be easy. Nope. Problem has been not knowing what the hey I’m doing. I mean, here’s the thing, you’ve got to make each character the worst possible person for their counterpart, and yet the best. They each have to learn something from the other which means they both have to lack something that the other has. But they both have to have qualities that the other admires and yet also something that keeps them apart.
Think I’ve mentioned jigsaw puzzles haven’t I?
Groan. Anyway, think the last part of the puzzle slotted in over the weekend. Bout bloody time. Now, the reason it’s taken me so long is that I never really had a good enough idea about what I was doing with conflict until now. Of course, the editor could disagree with that but at least it’s more right than it’s ever been (famous last words!). And the answer – as it was in the beginning – is in the characters. Their lives up until this point, the kind of people they are, what they admire, what they dislike, what they’re secretly afraid of, and what they’re currently doing in order to mask this secret fear. I think I’ve done it and then I realise that I’ve neglected to ask myself what my heroine’s relationship with her mother was, or how she viewed her father or her siblings or whatever.
I have to say, the friends we went on holiday with were rather puzzled by my conversations with Dr Jax. “You know Kate? What’s she afraid of?” I would ask him as we were walking along the beach. Or, “Remember Kate? I need her to do something that teaches him this thing but I don’t know what she does,” as we were in the middle of a card game. Or “I think I’m getting rid of the baby. It doesn’t add anything,” as we were watching one of the kids having a tantrum. 😉
Yes, even on holiday I do not have a holiday from writing. One of my friends asked me how many hours I put into this ‘job’ and I couldn’t put a number on it. Suffice to say that if I was actually paid for every hour that I put into it, then I’d be rich!
Anyway, now I have my conflict sorted, I can write my synopsis and send away my competition entry. Woohoo. In the meantime I am reading Mira Lynn Kelly’s debut Modern Heat and loving it. Gosh those Modern Heat gals are good eh? Tough acts to follow. WTG and congrats on yor release Mira!