Ahem. You know what I said a couple of days ago about the need to keep conflict simple? Well guess what I did?? *shakes fist at ms*
Sigh. Figured out that I have too many things going on for my heroine. I have two major problems with her and really, I should just have one and go a bit deeper with it. I should have realised a couple of weeks ago when I was writing a major scene for her, where her conflict starts to get resolved, and I could not seem to make it so that the two issues were dealt with at once. I ended up dealing with one and leaving the other for the black moment. But the other one is a biggie and…it’s just not going to happen in the word count! So, I need to get rid of it. Of course this brings me to the main point of this post: the trouble with Riva.
It’s a feel-good, fun, flirty line. Contemporary, with a ‘young’ voice. But the problem with feel-good, fun and flirty is that it’s very hard then to get conflict that’s deep and yet isn’t too depressing or dark. Groan. My feeling is that the most emotional storylines come from tough conflict but how you do that and still make it feel-good and fun?? Double groan. And it doesn’t help that I like angst but my voice is Riva (my secret love would be Presents/Modern conflict with a Riva voice).
The big thing is that I don’t know if my conflict is too dark or not. My poor old bad boy has had a pretty dark, depressing past and I wonder if that’s too much. But then, if he’s a bad boy, he HAS to have had bad stuff in his past, right? I’ve tried to keep this out of the present as much as possible but now I’m getting into the later stages of the book, it’s feeling pretty angsty. The pay off will be an emotional ending but have I gone too far? Same with my poor old heroine. She’s got two problems now – physical scars and guilt. But I have to choose one. Which one? Scars or guilt? And are they too dark? Too real life? The other sub I have in at the moment – the soldier story – again, there’s some depressing stuff in both my characters’ lives. Not in the present, in the past, but still, it’s there. Will that be a problem? Is it worth even writing the rest of that one?
I don’t know And the only way to know is when I hear from the ed. But I’m beginning to think that this is another thing that’s all in the execution. Some conflicts, no matter what you do with them, will always be too depressing otherwise you risk making light of them. Yet with others, maybe it’s possible if you don’t dwell too much on the depressing parts. Like if it’s death, you don’t dwell on the grief and loss, or you make it happen in the distant past so it’s not an issue in the present. Fundamentally though, who knows? I’ll find out eventually about mine when I hear back. Until then…not sure what to do really.
Maybe I’ll just give up the present WIPs for my new idea which was inspired – don’t laugh please – by the song One Night in Bangkok (oh, okay, you can laugh). Hehe. Can anyone say cheesy? I’m aiming to bring the sexy back to chess!!
So, what do you reckon about conflict that is light and happy, fun, feel-good, and flirty, and yet is deep enough and emotinal enough to last 50k? Any ideas?
PS. If you don’t know the song, here it is. Go Murray Head!