Tag Archives: conflict

What do you do when your conflict doesn’t work?

Ugh!  I am working off a very loose outline for my book ASHES IN THE SKY, the sequel to FIRE IN THE WOODS that releases September 23, 2014.

Here I am, cruising along with about 100 pages written, and the bad guy starts discussing the reason for being bad.   Ugh_Back_to_the_drawing_board

It totally fell flat.  I mean, the whole idea sounded great in my head. He had a perfectly good reason for doing what he was about to do. I even sympathized with him… until I wrote it all out and read it on the page.

It just seemed… I don’t know… STUPID.

Now I don’t know WHAT to do.

After stewing over it for quite a while, I just skipped to the end of the scene, and kept writing.  Hopefully I will work it all out.

I really HATE doing that, because I find my writing is much more fluid if I write chronologically.  Now, I will need to go back a rewrite that chapter from scratch.

I’m NOT feeling good about it.

Has this ever happened to you… and idea tat sounded great in your head just didn’t work once you wrote it and read it back to yourself?

Jennifer___Eaton

The Art of the Conflict – Keeping your Pacing while keeping your reader engaged.

Recently I was speaking to some writers, and the topic of “art in writing” came up.  We were talking about art in conflict, and I think some people didn’t quite “get it”.

Writing sometimes can get “stale”.  I know, I’ve caught myself doing it.  It’s really easy to get caught up in your dialog, especially during a conflict.  The dialog will start shooting out of your fingers.  This character says this, that character yells that.  You have a clear vision of the scene, but you just type out the dialog part.  Problem is, since you have the “clear vision” you “see” what is happening when you read it back to yourself, and you might not realize that the “art” is missing.

One of my beta partners called me on this about 8 months ago.  He told me that it sounded like my characters were sitting there on each side of a table reading lines of a script to each other.  There was nothing else happening but dialog.

I was a little surprised by the comment.  After all, they were raising their hands, slamming their fists, throwing things… weren’t they?  Well, honestly… only in my head.  That’s the way I envisioned it, but I forgot to add that to the “art” of the conflict.  When I read it back… he was right.

My challenge was then, to go back and CREATE the art.  In doing so however, I needed to make sure I didn’t SLOW DOWN the conflict.  I needed to keep it flowing.  I needed to keep the pacing.  I needed to keep the intensity of the scene.

Much easier said than done.

That is why it is an “art”.  It takes trial and error, and practice.  If your “art” pulls your reader out of the story, and reminds them that they are reading, or even worse… makes them start skimming to get to the good stuff… you have spoiled your story for the sake of art.

The author who can create art, and keep the reader engaged, is a true storyteller.

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