Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Conflict

I was frustrated that a story I'm working on wasn't. . . working. This is when it's great to have writer friends. My buddy Amanda, author of Syzygy listened to me rant and whine about how awful I thought my story was, and then with rays of wisdom shining all around her said, "You need conflict."

Yes! I need conflict! That's what's wrong with my sweet story in which everyone gets along, and agrees with one another, and even the invading aliens are only kind and helpful. That's why it's a boring piece of drivel! I don't know why I didn't see it before.

What's more, I think this may be a problem I have in general. Most of my other stories have more conflict than this happy, nice aliens story, I'm thinking my conflicts should be stronger. What I thought was a weakness in plotting, I now see as weak conflicts.

I have a book I read years ago, "Immediate Fiction" that I remember had a lot to say about conflict. I was super new to fiction writing then, and I don't think that part of the book stuck with me very well. So I'm going to re-read it tonight. Then tomorrow, look out. I'm adding a bad guy to the story, make the alien's grumpier, and who knows what else. There may be a fist fight. Ya never know.

But I'm still a nice person.


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2 comments:

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Yay! After you read it, you can pass along all you learned to me! :)

I think there's this logical plot-minded thing that goes on in our heads when we write. We have the goal and we map out how the characters reach it. We sometimes forget to thwart and torture them.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Hey, Kara. I left you an award on my blog! :)