Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Writerly Wednesday: Conflict

I'm not good with conflict in my personal life. In fact, I'll pretty much do just about anything to avoid it.

Even if it means not standing up for myself. In 90% of instances, I'd rather walk away from a situation than fight or debate my point of view - even when I'm not to blame. Or perhaps, especially when I'm not to blame. Call it a character flaw or an act of cowardice, but it is what it is - conflict is not my BFF.

Which is why it doesn't come as a big shock to realize my current manuscript lacks...conflict. Pretty much the kiss of death for authors, right?

Oh sure, I've figured out how to craft those clever cliffhanger endings, my sentences are so tight adverbs have to lose their "ly" endings to squeeze in, and I know my characters better than I know myself. Truth.

But when it comes to the natural (and then ramped up fictionalized) conflict that is inherent in all human relationships, I struggle. A treasured beta reader for HEARTLESS, my editor, and a number of writerly and non-writerly friends have showered the book with praise. There's just this one little caveat - Where's the conflict?

Good question!

As I finish up the first draft of the book this week (so close!), I'll be thinking about the revisions process and ways I can ramp up the conflict. In the meantime, maybe my characters will teach me how not to become a doormat in my personal life :-/

So...what are your strategies for dealing with conflict? On the page, of course.

- Dawn

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