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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Conflict—Your Story's Main Course

Welcome! During the month of April, we are going to be exploring how to deal with CONFLICT in fiction.

CONFLICT is the Turkey in a Turkey dinner. Without it, the rest of the meal just seems blah and pointless. All the other side dishes are there to complement the Turkey. This culinary visual is to demonstrate how conflict is essential to your story. Without conflict you have no story, just a string of mundane events that will quickly bore your readers. It’s also the toughest story element for many of us to deal with because we spend so much of our lives trying to avoid conflict.

So how do we put conflict into our story? We can’t just go to the market and buy it, like a turkey. We have to tromp through the proverbial woods and hunt it down when we are first developing our story idea. You'll want to stay posted all month for tips on how to deal with conflict in your story.

Along with our award-winning Wet Noodle Posse authors, we have a star-studded line-up of guest bloggers, including bestselling authors Jo Beverley (whose new book, A Lady's Secret, is out today!), Susan Gable, Anna Campbell, Tawny Weber, and Christie Kelley. You won't want to miss a single day!

We will be giving away a signed copy of a Jo Beverley novel on the 24th to a lucky participant, but you must comment to enter. So please plan to join us all month long and bring your questions and comments to our knowledgeable group of writers.


At 9:26 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Mmmm.... Turkey....

I am so excited about the upcoming guests.

SO excited!

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

And there has to be conflict of some sort in every scene, or the reader won't care. I can't remember which of my reference books used the example, but it's one I try to keep in mind.

A character wants something, maybe a raise. There's the question to be answered. If the answer is "yes, you can have a raise" the scene comes to a dead stop. If the answer is "no, you can't," there's some conflict, because the character now has to move to plan B. But the best answer often is "Yes, BUT.."
You can have the raise, BUT you have to -- work extra shifts, meaning you can't care for your ailing mother. Or you have to work with Suzie who is a back-stabbing colleague who will do everything she can to make you look bad ..." etc., etc.

The little conflicts that feed the big conflict keep things steamrolling.

(Not saying I can do it, but it's something to remember!)

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Well said, Terry. I'm excited about the conflict month. At a recent chapter meeting the speaker talked about how "trouble" is not "conflict." For instance, you wake up and slip on the floor and break your leg and then cut your finger on the tuna can...that's trouble, not conflict.

Okay, I think that's it for me on conflict because I don't want to mess anyone up, which I might have already done. :) I have to go get my notes on that meeting!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger doglady said...

I am REALLY looking forward to this month's discussion! I want to put more conflict in my stories! Bring it on!

And what were you doing opening a can of tuna on the floor after you broke your leg, Theresa?

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Ha ha ha ha O Doggie GH Finalist One!
Theresa always does that, but, then, she's a GH Finalist, too!!!

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Doglady: Good one. :D

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

LOL, Doglady. I did, in fact, cut my finger on the lid of a tuna can but not right after I broke my leg. ha!

At 6:47 PM, Blogger doglady said...

Theresa, I think the Divine One is insinuating that all GH finalists are clumsy. What do you think? Of course for a GH final I WOULD break my leg! Ouch on the tuna fish can!

I'm sorry, but the visual on that was too wicked to resist!

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Is conflict brewing....or mere trouble?

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Jane said...

Sounds like it's going to be a great month.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Lol, Diane. Conflict is DEFINITELY brewing now that Doglady has set me straight and I know what you're up to...

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Looks like it's going to be another great month. So many great angles to conflict and fabu guest bloggers.


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