Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Conflict

I was sitting at the library today with my pen and paper.

Yes, you heard me. Pen and Paper. There's this area at the back of the main room with tables and chairs. I sat at a table, facing a wall of windows. A WALL OF WINDOWS.


So I got to look at that for a couple of hours... wheeehoo! See that line running down the mountain on the right?? That's the incline... I have NOT walked up the incline. My husband, on the other hand, has done it twice and plans to do it again ASAP. Perhaps someday I will be able to do it, too.

Deciding to work on the plotline for an already written story, I went through some really old notes, really old critiques, really old...everything. I thought about what I'd learned over the years and how I could apply it to this OLD manuscript. I've written a few notes about the hero, who he is and his backstory. I remembered seeing in those old notes, a question: What does the hero want?

I thought...and thought...then there was this flash of lightning!

Not, what does the hero want. That's too easy to answer. He wants her. He'll get her by doing A, B, and C. Story over in this case.

What DOESN'T the hero want? And why?

See. Cuz, I have this story in which the hero loves the girl and wants to marry her. And she's not completely out-of-love with him, either. They have history, and a very boring love story, I might add!!

But if I ask myself, "Why doesn't the hero want the girl?"

I get a whole new picture. Better questions to answer, like what made him that way. What will he do to avoid her? And in the end--hopefully--more emotion, more conflict, and a better resolution.

So, tell me, what conflicts do you like? Which ones make you cringe?

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