I’m not conflicted enough

Maggie Shayne gave a workshop at my local RWA chapter meeting this weekend. She has a great sense of humour, and an interesting speaker. She talked about opening hooks, pacing, and conflict.

And I had an aha! moment – one I wish I hadn’t. Because I realized the new project I’m starting doesn’t have enough conflict. The premise works, the opening hook works, the characters are fleshed out – individually. But there’s really no external conflict between the hero and heroine, other than they don’t like each other. :hissyfit: And Maggie made me ask the all-important question – why not?

It’s not enough to have two characters at odds. It’s all in the motivation, baby! Your characters can do anything you want them to do, as long as their reasons are valid. So, it’s back to the drawing board to figure out why these two hate each other so much :wall:


I’m not conflicted enough — 6 Comments

  1. :fryingpan:
    This is me today: I have a premise for the story but there isn’t enough conflict in my story either. I want to really get in there and grab the readers’ attention. Now after I grab it, what do I do??

  2. I feel your pain, Margery – conflict is one of my bugaboos as well :hissyfit: Hope you figure out the characters’ motivation soon – my characters have a bad habit of not revealing theirs till I’m well into the story :rolleyes:

  3. I had the same problem after Maggie’s workshop. When filling out her chart, I realized that my hero doesn’t even want the thing I thought he wanted that would be the big conflict. Gah. Now what the heck am I supposed to do with him? Sure he’s good in bed and all, but he can’t just spend the whole book having sex with the heroine… or could he :wigglebrow: