Where am I up to with the whole heroine’s internal conflict thing? Well, since getting the big thumbs down on the mother angle of her conflict, I’ve had more feedback. Now, initially my heroine was ashamed and insecure about being a geek. But this is not ‘good conflict’ because being a geek should not be a reason to be a ashamed or embarassed. There has to be something deeper that makes her feel insecure, not just because she likes electronics and gothic metal. And there is something deeper I’ve decided. What makes her feel insecure? The fact that she’s different and has never felt like she fitted in.
So, how do I make her different without falling into the Parent Trap? I can’t make her feeling different because her mother always told her she was. Neither can I make it dependent on her taste in music or because she likes computers. It has to come from something inside herself. I had a good think about my heroine and the way I’ve written her, and thought that probably she’d feel different because she was very, very bright. Perhaps her family is very normal and don’t know how to deal with a high IQ child? Perhaps when she was in high school, she was put in accelerated learning classes, made to feel different from the rest of her peers at a time when all a kid really wants is to be the same. And then I thought, well how about at one stage of her life she found a group where she did fit in but ended up being cast out of it? How would she feel? What’s say that at university, a place where she thought she belonged, she maybe showed up someone by mistake, and as a result was excluded from the group. This would make her very unsure of herself. She’d always be worried she’s going to make another mistake, break some social rule she didn’t know about, which may mean a loss of the feeling of belonging. So maybe this is why she doesn’t like social situations, the reason she’s very insecure, worried about saying the wrong thing. And this will be the reason why her black moment will be so terrible for her: she will say the wrong thing and it will result in her losing the hero, and thereby losing the one person in the world who she thought understood her, the world she built with him where she thought she belonged. Evil eh? Didn’t I say I liked torturing my characters?? 🙂 Her resolution will be her finding the confidence to risk saying the wrong thing again in order to win the hero back.
Phew. Sorry, went on a tad there. I hope that wasn’t too boring! It’s just that I thought going through the process of deciding on strong internal conflict could be useful. Ideally you would do this before beginning writing your manuscript – or at least you’d have the bones of it there to begin with.
Anyway, I don’t know if this will work. I let Anna know the angle I was going to take and I haven’t heard back so I’m assuming this is a ‘go for it’ sign. I hope!! She has given me a deadline which is in a month’s time. Eurrgh! I feel sick!!