Tuesday, May 24

No Conflict Here

Meet Tangie and PK.

He's orange, long-haired and loves human food and laps.
She is a blue point Siamese. She is cross-eyed and a little ...um... chubby. But they love one another beyond measure. Their differences have never mattered. From the beginning, Tangie has loved and looked out for PK.

Every afternoon, they crawl on my bed, wrap their arms around each other and have a snooze. It is pure contentment. A perfect relationship.

I saw this picture and it made me think of my stories. And one of the problems I sometimes have with them. You see, I like to jump ahead to the contented stage. To the afternoon nap part of love.

And the whole point of romance is the journey, including the conflict. The conflict turns the story. You hear it time and again...if you don't have a conflict, you don't have a story.

Do you struggle with conflict? Or does it come easy for you? Do you have to remind yourself to put it in, or is it there on every page?

I would like to hear how you keep the conflict churning page after page.


  1. OK, I'm a dog person not a cat person, but that pic is way too cute. :)

    I love conflict, the battle and banter between hero and heroine. When they get comfy with each other, I start to lose interest. I blame Rhett and Scarlet for being my relationship role models (fictional only - I swear!).

  2. Love the pics!

    I love conflict(in my stories, not in real life).

    I try to ask myself the famous "what if" question.
    I have Donald Maass's awsome words taped to my hard drive. ADD TENSION ON EVERY PAGE
    I try to add fear, anxiety, worry, uncertainy.
    If that doesn't work you can always make atrip to your local salon .

  3. Thanks, Avery.

    I love these crazy kids!

    Yeah, conflict definately keeps it intersting.

  4. Adorable pic, D'Ann. I had brother/sister cats when I was a child. Every afternoon, while he tried to sleep, she bathed him. He acted like he hated it, but he never got up and left. LOL

    I enjoy the relationship conflict, the building of trust. However, I put in the basics and then revise with more details, more emotion layered in later.

  5. Thanks for the comment, Sandy. I have to fight to remember my conflict.

  6. I love cats! But I haven't had one in years. Conflict is something I have a problem with too. I know what the conflict is, but I always want it resloved really fast, and that's where I get into trouble. Once the conflict is over, so is the story. I have to remember I can't have the conflict resolved by page 50. And if it can be resolved that fast, then it wasn't enough in the first place.

  7. You and I have that in common, Shawn. Sigh. We'll have to work on it together.

  8. Conflict--or lack thereof--is difficult for many writers. Don't be too hard on yourself. And it can always be ramped up in revisions. I find myself encouraging authors to increase conflict all the time when I edit.

    Cute kitties. Makes you wanta go snuggle with 'em.

  9. I think the key is to choose the two people who really shouldn't be together -- why are they the absolute wrong choice for one another? And along the way you find out why being wrong-on-paper doesn't mean wrong-in-the-heart. :)

    That said, conflict trips me up all the time!

  10. Logically, I know what conflict is, but I have problems writing it! I'm good with the internal conflict, I think, but external, not so much. Great post, D'Ann! I'm so relieved I'm not the only person struggling with this issue.

  11. Oh, D'Ann... I love the kitties! They are adorable.


    The reason Harlequin rejected me. Yes, I have a tough time keeping it going too. I have no problem coming up with characters that shouldn't be together, but I'm very good at writing it out of the story.

    For example, in my current WIP. I literally found myself ignoring the conflict that was my main idea for the story. By Chp 3 I realized what I was doing and went back and changed things. Now my hero/heroine can't be in the same room without the sparks flying.

    But it's hard for me to write. I'd rather make love than war...LOL!

  12. Love your kitties! I have two who snuggle like that, then turn and fight like demons!

    I haven't had a problem getting conflict into my books until my current WIP. My hero is too nice and laid back. The heroine is a piece of work, but he just takes it in his stride. That's going to have to change in the revision if this one's going to have a chance.

    Great post because conflict is something you cannot ignore.

  13. Piper, Kristi, Lisa, Sara and Jenna~
    Thank you all for your thoughts/suggestions on conflict.
    I appreciate you all!

  14. As a cat lover, I love your kitties. I find it much easier to write conflict, keep thinking of things that COULD happen, differences in personalities, how one COULD respond to situations, etc. but once things are resolved I don't know how to write and keep it interesting.