Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I hate that word with a burning passion. I am a complete and utter wuss when it comes to confrontation and conflict usually leads to confrontation... and I don't do well with confrontation. Anyone who knows me knows this much at least.

I've been going through edits from one of the other Menagerie ladies on my latest endeavor... which she dared me to do... anyway she made a comment that made me groan. Sweet and sexy story, but not much of a conflict to keep them apart... or something like that, I don't have the document open to give you a verbatim quote. But, there was that dreaded word... CONFLICT!

*sigh* Did I mention I don't like conflict? Well, that's not the whole story... I don't like to write conflict because any conflict that jumps into my over filled brain is alwasy, "Done that" or "used too much" and I really don't like to torture my characters too much. Yanno?

Another story I've been working on has too much conflict to the point that my crit partners weren't even sure they liked my heroine as a person, and I realized neither did I and I thought she was incredibly immature and that drives me insane. I have to rewrite major scenes to make myself happy and still keep my "voice" in it.

Am I the only one who has a hard time putting conflict in their stories? Am I the only one who, when a conflict DOES present itself, finds that THAT conflict is cliche or ridiculous? Help! I wish there was a book I could order that had a list of helpful conflicts: you know with a table of contents chart in the front where you combine circumstances from group A, hero personalities from group B and heroine personalities from group C and it tells you to go to this page and there would be at least one full page with all sorts of suitable conflicts to choose from. Come on, you know you want one too! And since this is April Fool's day, I refuse to believe any of you that tell me there is such a book... :::narrowing eyes::: You know who you are!

How do you deal with "no conflict" in your stories do you search around in your head for a conflict or does it just come to you as you're going along? HELP!


Angi said...

my personal opinion is that the conflict should be based on the characters and the story. Not everyone has to go through massive conflict to realize they've found a good guy worth keeping.

By the same token having lots of conflict or an immature heroine gives you room to show her growth through the story. To show that she does grow up and understand life more when she faces losing that good guy that's worth keeping.

As long as it all remains real and relevant to the story ... it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

Mysti Holiday said...

Conflict doesn't necessarily mean an argument or fighting... it means that there is something (whether it's internal or external) that the H/H must overcome to reach their HEA.

Maybe she can't deal with his fame or his groupies? Or he's been burned before and is afraid to love or trust someone again? Maybe an old flame comes back and stirs things up?

See? They can still like each other and be attracted to each other, but they still have to overcome some obstacle before they can live happily ever after.

You can do it!!!

Kealie Shay said...

Thanks Angi, I agree, and I know that there always is some sort of conflict even in real life.

Aw, Mysti, I was whining, not about you but about me. I agree with what you said there and here. I even knew that's what you would say once I sat down and reread everything before you sent me your edits and crit. LOL You just know that conflict in any form is not my favorite thing. I can do it... I think I can... I think I can... I think I can... where's that little engine?

Rebecca J. Clark said...

You can do it, you can do it, you can do it. Torture those characters! Throw obstacles in their way! what's the worst that can happen to him/her?

As for overall conflict between H/H, ask yourself, what's inside him/her that keeps him from loving her/him?

This all is easier said than done, eh?

Good luck and thanks for the great post.


Kealie Shay said...

LOL, thanks Becky. I think it's more what's inside keeping them from admitting they love.

I know, I know... there're all sorts of opportunities to torture them... I can do this! :-)

Ashley Ladd said...

I hate conflict in real life, but I love it in books. Coincidentally, I blogged about that yesterday but I scheduled it for to post tomorrow. This was before I found your blog. I guess GMTA.

I think I've been doing a pretty good job at making conflict in my stories. I hope so.