Friday, May 7

Don’t Kick Me When I’m Down

So have you ever noticed, that when you’re down, when the world seems dark and gray, when you just want to lay in bed with the blankets tossed over  your head –THAT’S when Murphy’s Law strikes.

Anything that can go wrong, will.

And my personal take on it, Anything that can go wrong, will. And then it will always get worse.

Take for instance, my place of work. I love my job, really. Ok, occasionally I’d like to imagine myself doing the scene from Terminator 2 when he says “I’ll be back” and then POW. But so far, I’ve restrained myself.

At work last week, my favorite employee turned in her two week notice. I was crushed. Heartbroken. Tried to talk her out of it. No luck. I sat for a time, before I went upstairs to tell the rest of the staff the bad news. “Oh,” said one girl. “She just told us. And remember how I was going to work every day this summer? Yeah, I won’t be able to do that anymore. Sorry.”

Pow. Murphy strikes again.

A friend of mine asked me to put a bid on his company’s website. I did, and I lost the bid. No big deal. If he would have called and said hey, you lost the bid, I would have said “Ok! Look at all the free time I have for writing now!” But he didn’t. He had his secretary’s secretary email me the news.

Bang. Hello Mr. Murphy. Thanks for the personal touch.

I bought my mom the COOLEST solar light for her garden for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, it won’t ship until May 18. So, today I tell her I’m sorry, if will be late. No problem she says, she just ordered something for her garden that won’t ship until the 18th either, what a coincidence. Um. After a few well-placed questions, it turned out the solar light was SO COOL, she bought one for herself.

Blap. Murphy, buddy, quit kicking me while I’m down eh?

So now you’re wondering, how on earth is Carrie going to connect the entire travesty that has been her life for the past two weeks and turn it into a blog about writing?

Watch this.

Conflict. Each and every scene you write in your book has to have some kind of conflict. The more the better. I finally got that point. I understood we needed conflict, I got that there was internal and external. I DIDN’T get that it was to be in EACH. AND. EVERY. SCENE.

But now Murphy’s Law has shown me the way. Conflict is everywhere, and yes, it can always be made worse.

It’s everywhere, it’s every day, it’s every scene.

So apply my version of Murphy’s Law to YOUR manuscript and see if your characters aren’t suddenly infused with conflict. It will make their life hell, and your editor will be tickled pink.

And Murphy, nothing personal, but just stay away from me for a couple days eh? Absence makes the heart grown fonder.




  1. Okay,Carrie, I think this WAS one of your best. Sorry about the whole Murphy thing, but I really enjoyed the post.

  2. You always crack me up. A number of years ago we had a bunch of bad stuff cascade over us and I kept asking, "what more could go wrong?" Finally my sister told me to stop saying that because something else always came up. I learned then you really don't want to tempt Murphy or he'll rain havic down on you.

    Really enjoyed your post. Cheers.

  3. Conflict flows into my life with the ease of a waterfall. Adding it to my manuscript, however, is the inverse, requiring much painful pondering and plotting. The difference, I think, is that when conflict happens to me, there is no guaranteed resolution. But when you force something onto your characters, you have to have a corresponding solution. Hard!

  4. Oh, Carrie.
    I'm sorry for all the bad stuff that's been happening. I guess it's supposed to make us appreciate the good.
    My life is full of it, you wouldn't think it would be hard to remember to use it.

  5. Great advice, Carrie! We must be taking the same workshop (haha, course we are!)! Getting conflict into every scene is really hard for me, too, even though life's lessons should teach us how to do this with no reminding!