Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Conflict

I hate conflict. I avoid it like the plague in real life.

But in a book, it's necessary. Without conflict, there's no motivation. No motivation, no plot. No plot, B.O.R.I.N.G book.

So you've got to give your characters conflict. Inner conflict. Conflict with parents, with boyfriends and girlfriends, with the environment. Conflict up the wazoo. Just keep throwing that conflict at them.

Take your character's worst nightmare, and throw it at them.

And see what they do with it.


Theresa Milstein said...

Yeah, we have to dump a lot of bad stuff on our characters. They've got to overcome challenges, right? I'm glad my life if more boring than theirs!

Laura Marcella said...

My life is so uneventful compared to my characters'! And that's the way I like it. :)

Have a great day, Kristine!!

SA Larsenッ said...

That's one thing I like to do when I'm stuck in a story: think of the worst that could happen to said character right here, right now, and then put them through something even worse.

Cherstin Holtzman said...

Hello, Kristine! Thanks for sharing your ideas on conflict. You're absolutely correct! As I sit here, writers notebook on the chair next to me, I remind myself to make things difficult for my much-loved characters. Watching them succeed or fail, seeing what they are going to do when pressed, is what really brings out their true selves.

I found you on the A to Z challenge! I'm just beginning my novel, but I hope you'll drop in and say hello!

cleemckenzie said...

You are so right. Conflict is everything in a novel, not too good in real life!

Nicole said...

This is a great summary of conflict! I definitely agree it's a must-have to keep readers eagerly turning our pages. :)

Gina said...

Definitively conflict is one of the most important things on a novel, what propels the reader to jump from page to page without blinking. Yet, it is so hard to make it seem natural and complex at the same time.

A nice post! Best of lucy for you during the challenge.
From Diary of a Writer in Progress.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi Kristine, it certainly works great in a book!

This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

Duncan In Kuantan

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Kristine! Conflict in a book makes for an interesting book. Conflict in real life, not so much. Great post for the letter C.


Anna Staniszewski said...

I totally avoid conflict in real life, too. Ha, I almost feel like I take all the conflict I avoid in real life and siphon it into my writing. :-)

Jemima Pett said...

Interesting analysis and one I should probably take more note of in my books. I hate conflict and so do my heroes... but you're right, it would make for edgier reading!

Stephsco said...

I've slowly learned this; it seems obvious a book needs plot, but sometimes it needs to be lovingly pointed out :)

Good luck with the A to Z challenge!