Monday, August 16, 2010

CONFLICT - Donna Alward

I have another great quote about Conflict this morning. This is from Donna Alward and if you want to read more about Donna and her books, you'll find her web site here. She also did a section on her blog about conflict, which is where this quote is taken from.

There are two kinds of conflict and both SHOULD be present in any story. The balance changes according to the kind of story you are writing. So for me, Harlequin Romance is very internal conflict/character arc driven. For Intrigue, the balance will be different with loads of fast-paced external conflict and a smaller internal conflict arc operating within it. I used the word balance for a reason. If you take a book that needs high external conflict and add in too much internal, what happens? You bog down the action. You kill the pace, filling up crucial moments with introspective narrative. And yet you need SOME, so that the reader cares about the characters making it through.

In Romance, the external conflict is a place to hang your hat, so to speak. It's the hook that brings the two characters together in the same place at the same time, with problems to solve that have nothing to do with each other. A classic hook is the marriage of convenience. The hero needs a wife because....the heroine needs a husband because....and they fit the bill. But guess what - here's where the internal conflict takes over. WHY does the solution to the problem now BECOME the problem? Because of the internal conflict each brings to the table.


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