Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Conflict in Writing

Numbers 31: 53 (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)

Now we’re dipping into the good stuff, not that f2k isn’t wrought with good stuff but this week we’re going to learn how conflict added to a story can carry many chapters into a great novel.

Conflict isn’t about writing a scene where two people argue, or buildings blow up, people getting hit by a train, or other death defying fetes, conflict in a story can be as simple as Margo deciding what color dress to wear or which date is the better choice; the long ago high-school crush or the recent guy she met at the library.

All of this lends to the conflict in your story. On a broader level conflict can be a simple choice of whether the doctor gave the right diagnosis, whether the character wants to live or die, or maybe even he/she wants to become a monk and live a life of isolation. Inner conflict is as exciting in a story as are the knock down drag out fights.

Without conflict in a story, we would have pretty boring novels. Just think, had Frodo never found the ring. Would Lord of the Rings been as appetizing as it was? How about Harry Potter? Had he never had those disagreeing adults wanting to run his life, would the door have been open for the people at Hogwarts to come riding in (literally) to save little Harry?

We need conflict in our writing, even in our blog writing. We need to expel all the conflict in our lives or teachings to know whether we are on the right path or not. I can’t say that teaching writing techniques has bunches of conflict in here, enough to make you come back over and over again. But my poetry has enough inner conflict to keep you reading and wondering what the next poem will bring.

And sure enough there is always enough conflict in my blog because it makes you wonder if you’re writing right, you think about the craft, you dive into the conflicting feelings you have about writing and spit them onto the page in hopes you have something worth reading.

So, all in all, conflict is what makes the world go round. Conflict is what’s going to make your story go from wimpy love story to an all out triangle of people’s loves and thoughts.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, can you think of any conflicting feelings you have about the day of supposed LOVE? Why not write about it and see where there might be a story hidden in there for you to give to your reader.

Don’t beat me up for this post, drink from the pool of conflict and get some good writing done!

*** Congratulations to me, I made it to my 400th post! Way to go Joni!


Ro said...

I just had conflict in decideing whether to comment. On one hand, I'm about to abandon the computer for the comfort of my couch and a book, on the other hand I wanted to congratulate you on 400 posts. You can see which hand won ;)

joni said...

And I'm glad it did Ro!
Thank you!
You're running lo on spoons and need a good bowl of Ice cream! Plenty of spoon room there. lol

This is a fun lesson. We get to see where our characters are going to get in trouble. Hope you can join us f2kers in April with Insert by your side. Oh you'll have tons to write about. :-)

Thanks again,


Stormcrow said...

How about a man tucking his daughter into bed, and later realizing it wasn't his living daughter, but the girl's twin who died two years ago. Would that be conflict? Congratulations on 400 posts baby!

joni said...

AAAAAAAAAAA!! A dead twin, being tucked in bed? Creepy! I must read THAT tale. ;-)

Thanks for visiting my 400th post!

Dang, that's a lot of writing.


June said...

400th post!

You can gather up a collect and have a book! :)

Congratulations, Joni!

Take care,

Ana said...

Congratulations Joni! You do write.
Your blog is a very good one and you have put a lot of work into it.

As to CONFLICT, I don't know whether it makes the WORLD GO ROUND but it does mess it up sometimes.
The thing is what we learn from CONFLICT for ourselves and society.