It’s all about Conflict

Ever had a rejection that said ‘lacked internal conflict?’ It’s a common line from editors and contest judges. It was the thing that took me the longest time to grasp so this year at the RWAustralia conference I gave a tutorial …Conflict: More than a misunderstanding. My session seemed to ring bells with the participants and I was blown over by the response so I have posted my notes on my website in the ‘For Writers’ section.

I suggest that you view the suggested movie trailers at the particular places in the notes. I mean, hey, watching movies is research and all part of honing your skills isn’t it? The trailers are available on line. I know quite a few of the 80 participants left my workshop ready to rent The Wedding Date πŸ™‚

Can I have your attention please?

Back to conflict…..You need a strong internal conflict, driven by a solid external conflict to make your book a page turner.

In THE NURSE’S LONGED FOR FAMILY( out in the UK in September and Australia in October 2006), Alex son died in Africa while Alex was working there. He sacrificed his son to the greater good and his wife left him. His grief is deep and he never wants to suffer like that again so he isn’t going to be involved with children or have a relationship with a woman.
Enter Jess, whose sister and brother have just died in an accident and she is now raising her toddler nephew, Woody. When she become Woody’s guardian, her long term relationship ended when her partner said ‘I don’t want kids and I sure as hell don’t want to raise someone elses.’ Jess is determined that Woody will only know love and she doubts her ability to chose a man who is a worthy father.

These conflicts that set them neatly at opposite ends of the spectrum. These conflicts will last a book as they both have a long way to travel.

So Click here to read all about conflict, how to devise it, use it and test it to see if your conflict will last the book.

And when you’ve done that, you might want to head over to Ally Blake’s Blog and check out her notes on Sexy vs Sweet – The Ultimate Showdown and take advantage of her sensational insight of avoiding falling between the “lines’.


5 thoughts on “It’s all about Conflict

  1. Fiona, great to see you talking about conflict. I remember the wonderful Kate Walker saying something really profound about conflict at the Sydney RWA conference. She said conflict isn’t bickering – the conflict in a romance novel has to be so important that the characters are willing to risk or even give up the love or their life for what they believe. Really high stakes stuff! Everyone raved about your workshop on the Gold Coast. Congratulations!

    Anna Campbell

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