One of the most common causes of weak or sludgy plots is the confusion of internal conflict with external conflict.
Writers who focus on character love sittin’ and thinkin’ scenes where protagonists look out windows and contemplate their pasts or ponder the meaning of reality, the battle raging within them over conflicting needs and values. That’s internal conflict. Continue reading
The two most important characters in your book are your protagonist and your antagonist because they’re the characters in conflict.
“Agon” in classical Greek means “struggle.”
A Prot-agon-ist is somebody who is first in the struggle, who owns the conflict and pushes it forward, defining it by pursuing a goal. Continue reading
A lot of stories have slow starts because their writers confuse trouble with conflict.
Trouble is what happens to all of us, usually daily. Things go wrong, we make mistakes, others screw up and we have to clean it up. Trouble is part of life.
Conflict is a struggle between two people who both want goals and who are blocking each other. Conflict is a battle, a war. Conflict escalates because both sides push back. Conflict is a specific struggle between two people, the escalating action of which moves the story forward. Continue reading
Conflict is the fuel for your story.
Conflict happens when . . .
two people who are attempting to reach goals they desperately need
cross paths in such a way
that they block each other from achieving those goals. Continue reading
You’re probably wondering why I gathered you all here today.
I’ve been thinking about doing a writing book, presenting the basic theories of fiction in general and of romance writing in particular, in an easy-to-use, varied format that would accommodate the three reasons people go to writing books. The format would Continue reading