Monday, July 11, 2011

Conflict

I had a lovely time with the Writing Buddy during our writing arts and crafts escapade. I forgot to bring my camera (I sort of had my hands full, as you can see!) but the Writing Buddy let me use her camera phone.

I didn't get things done on the epic scale I was hoping for, but I worked out some kinks in my Scavengers story. I also assigned each set of characters a couple of conflicts at random to spice up their Hunt a bit more. They all have plenty going on already, but sometimes it's fun be as mean as you can to your characters. Although maybe I feel that way just because I've watched too much Joss Whedon.

I have an analogy about good stories, if you've ever read Life of Pi (and if you haven't you should go read it right now). This is a bit of a spoiler if you know nothing about the book, so don't read the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to be spoiled. If you don't know the premise, it's basically a survivor story - a kid gets shipwrecked and it's about how he survives in this life boat while he tries to get back to land. Sounds like he has enough going on just trying to stay alive, right? Well, to make things just a little more interesting, the ship he was on also had a bunch of animals (I can't remember why), so he ends up sharing this life boat with a tiger. Yes, a freaking tiger. A good story suddenly becomes an amazing one. So, my analogy is that I have my main story, my main conflict, but then I like to throw a tiger in the mix.

That's one thing The Boss taught me in editing my manuscripts: always give your characters another obstacle, and always go with the unlikely or unexpected twist. Keep your readers guessing and they'll have more fun reading.

Although I suppose it would be easy to go overboard with that and have too much going on in a story. But I think I'd rather have too much and have to cut stuff out than not have enough and have to go back in and write more conflict in later. That's the trouble I have with my handful of past Nanowrimo novels.

Of course, what do I know? I don't even have any finished books.

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