At the conference in March, I’ll be talking about using conflict to drive your story. But do you really know what conflict is?
A while back, I went to a workshop wherein the speaker described conflict as two dogs fighting over one bone.
I walked out scratching my head. If the dogs were a male and a female, and they were INCREDIBLY sexually attracted, why not mate and share the bone?
No pun intended in that example by the way.
The problem with that speaker’s theory was that her characters had a clear external conflict…they wanted the same bone…but she never mentioned internal conflict (which is the reason they wouldn’t just mate and share the bone).
EXTERNAL CONFLICT might be about dogs fighting over a bone, but the reason our two dogs wouldn’t mate and share the bone is the reason they wouldn’t commit permanently to each other (or maybe anyone), which is the INTERNAL CONFLICT – the SUPREME ELEMENT of a romance novel.
If I’m calling internal conflict the SUPREME ELEMENT of a romance novel, that makes it pretty ding-dang important. And knowing that internal conflict is probably the most important element of your book — that success or failure of your story depends on that internal conflict — you’re probably now terrified to try to come up with one.
Well, rest easy. There are lots of ways to come up with a great internal conflict for your book. And not just a conflict that makes sense, but a conflict that is so important to your story that it seems to drive your book.
And that’s the basis of my workshop on letting conflict tell your story for you. Looking at conflict not just as something to drive a wedge between your characters, but as something to drive your story!
So join me in California in March! There’s nothing I like better than talking conflict!
One of eleven children, Susan Meier was raised on a small farm in western Pennsylvania and attributes her love of stories and writing to lying in grassy fields staring at the clouds daydreaming!
Susan is an avid but terrible golfer, and a woman who desperately wants to learn to cook without having to involve the fire department. She still lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and two very personable cats.