Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conflicted about conflict

Rach (who visited on the weekend - I had the BEST time, except for the toilet seat incident) posted recently about making the conflict clear in the first page for catagory... GULP! That's not really happening here for SIG.

The discussion was interesting. I think we all agreed we need to see on the page why these two are going to have a rough time getting to that HEA. If not on the first page then as soon as possible.

I'm thinking I don't have it as clear as I'd like early enough for my heroine.

Change it then - i hear you think.

Yea, well, it's the how that's got me wondering. Is it ok that she's, apparently, not as conflicted as him at the start? Can it be a lightish layer there, eg she's just broken up with someone and doesn't want to rush in, and then BANG it gets LOTS worse a chapter in?



  1. Becca, I've read a few where one isn't as conflicted as the other - at least on the surface (and actually, I read one where one of them didn't have much conflict all the way through!). Personally, as I reader, I would like that 'cause I like to be surprised. It's great where you read a book and think you've got the characters all figured out in that first chapter and then suddenly things change.

  2. Becca, I agree with Jackie. I had a panic at one point and tried to explain both of their entire internal conflicts in the first chapter, then took a lot of it out again. It felt like an info dump.

    I think it can work when internal conflicts are just hinted at in the first chapter and explored more thoroughly as you move through the story. I also don't have a problem with one person being more conflicted than the other. I always feel that the imbalance of power this provokes in their relationship can cause an internal conflict in the other protagonist as they struggle to keep their pride intact.

    Good luck with the chapter!

  3. I think it's fine not to have it all thrown at you in the first few chapters. But it's so hard when it's your own work and you desperately want to 'get it right' isn't it?

    Great minds think alike today :-)

  4. I'm with Jackie too! You have to do what's right for your characters and their story.

  5. Hey Becca!
    this is such a hard one to get right! I guess a great hook will reflect the conflict? And if the external reason keeps them together and the internal reason keeps them apart - the reader would pick up on that conflict really quickly anyway?