Exceedingly stress-inducing when you’re not writing.
It has been at least a month—maybe more-- since I’ve written a word. I desperately need to work on book number three because, at the arduous pace I’ve set, it won’t come out until 2018! But every time I consider working on my story, even though I’m already several chapters into it, I think “Meh…”
I blame the kiddos with their start-of-school-schedule-shake-up. I blame the twenty-five other story ideas clashing in my head, keeping me too distracted to really sit down and concentrate on writing any one thing. I blame the rainy weather. I blame the sunny weather. I even blame myself because I know I’m just making excuses.
|If my heroine's GMC was a car, it would be this!|
She needs a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. She needs her GMC. And we're not talking cars.
This is my struggle: what goal can my heroine have, besides getting off the alien rock and returning to earth? This could be a minor conflict for my characters… she wants to go home, he wants her to stay… but it can’t be the main one. Otherwise, when the hero gets his way and she stays, she is (albeit happily) defeated in the attainment of her one and only goal. And what sort of meager character arc would this give her, much less my story as a whole?
According to Storywonk and other savvy people, a goal needs to be something urgent, intensely meaningful, even life-or-death (unlike my personal goal at the moment, which is to find a bite of chocolate). The protagonist must reach her goal no matter the cost. And the antagonist must stop her no matter the cost (herein lies the awesome conflict that will carry the story). The protagonist must have sufficient motivation for reaching her goal. Going back to earth to continue a career as a hair stylist, when a sexy alien king wants you to stay with him in his castle as his queen, isn’t much of a goal, motivation, or conflict. It sounds more like a punchline to a joke!
Which is why I haven’t written anything on this story in a long while. I can’t fall back on the same themes from my previous books. And I haven’t figured out what this next book needs, except to know it needs… something.
I need inspiration: What sort of goals, motivations, and conflicts pique your interest? What sort of character arcs do you like to see in a story?