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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Today's Word is "CONFLICT"

There are three principles in a man's being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say.
-Martin Bruber

Drama usually has some sort of intense conflict.
-Clint Eastwood
*******
Every story needs conflict.

What kind and how much is usually where I get indecisive.

As a general rule, my brain is always working, creating random scenarios and playing them out like a movie in my mind. (Sometimes I also act them out to help write them out. Am I the only one that does this?) I will play/act out, reorganize, rewrite, edit, etc... in my head until I get a "scene" that I like.

Not all of these ideas or scenes ever lead to anything more than what they are but some of them start to take on a life of their own and like a fungus or virus begin to spread into something bigger and greater...

Wait. Did I just compare my writing to a virus and fungus? Guess so.

Anyway, sometimes an idea will just take off on its own and need to guidance from me in terms of where it's going and what's going to happen, conflict or otherwise.

But the smaller scenes and vignettes lately have got me thinking more and more.

If the little scenes become big grown up stories and/or books,  what kind of conflict do I put in them?

For example...

The other day I was thinking up a lovely romantic bit between two people - friends reconnected over a long period of time - but then I thought "This is too perfect." The main character already has conflict she's dealing with, but then I think "Is it enough?"

I'm a selfish writer - meaning I write what I like and what interests me, and I think if other people like it, that's cool. I don't write for the masses. I write for me, and if others like it, then that's just extra cherries on my author-ly sundae. And regardless of writing formulas or whatever, I can't just write an "everything goes swell and nothing bad happens" kind of story. That's just not me and it's not real. And really... who wants to read that stuff? Even in guilty pleasure romance novels there's conflict even if it ends with the expected happily ever after.

How much conflict should go in a story? How much is too much? Or not enough? What sort of conflict should there be?

I'm fine with the conflict being something as simple as an argument or a disagreement, but it's got to be over something substantial. Disagreeing over what brand of toothpaste to use is not substantial enough... at least not to me.

Is any of this making sense?

So what do y'all think? What's a good amount of conflict? What's a good or bad example of conflict that you've read in a book or watched in a movie or played out in a video game or even experienced in your own life?

Okay. I think that's all. I'll end this post here.

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae

Monday, July 1, 2013

Thinking About Writing. Does That Count?

Paul Krendler: Jesus, Starling, what are you doing sitting in the dark?Clarice Starling: Thinkin' about cannibalism.-from the movie "Hannibal"
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Let's see what I can do in 30 minutes.

Yeah. I'm on my lunch, and I just spent the first half of it surfing the net (mainly Facebook). It also took me forever to get into my frakkin Chinese chicken salad.

Yesterday was my only day off this week until Saturday (but I will be in Fresno that day visiting my father before he heads back to Oklahoma on the 8th). So I had to run errands (two of which I forgot since the heat made me bonkers... I'll be trying to do those today after work). I triumphantly made it to food after finding a pair of shorts (as well as a blouse on clearance). I had also spritzed some more Adam Levine on me before leaving Kohl's and heading to Panera (which was conveniently in the same lot). I ordered some tortellini and some soup and drank a frak ton of iced tea while I enjoyed the lovely A/C.

I thought about doing some writing while I was there, but I was stumped on choosing a girl's name. I wanted a name that was a girl's name but could be shortened to a boy's name. I've already used Sam and Charlie (my favorite go-to's). I thought about Jacky, Tony and Andy. Straying from Dani for some reason. Maybe I'll change my mind later.

But yeah, this girl is the main character of a story idea that I have about her going home for a bit where she's more accepted for who she is as opposed to where she was where she was being turned into something she wasn't. A part of that is the nickname which shows acceptance and comfort and love for who someone is.

But my brain stopped at the name since I had a scene in my head (still do) about an interaction between her and someone else. Can't write a scene when I don't know what to call the main person.

In any case, my sinuses made it impossible to function so I just put the notebook away, went through the rest of my food, hit the drugstore on the way home, and passed out. My cat (who I love most dearly) has the tendency to whine at me lately. It's not constant, but sometimes she'll hop off the bed to grab some water or food or whatever and then whine. I always ask her what's wrong... like she can understand me. But in any case, I feel like she just wants to be acknowledged. So I look at her, and she stares at me, and I check out the obvious things (cat box, food dish, water), and when everything is fine (which it usually is), I just look at her and ask, "What's up?" She's staring at me as if to say, "I'm on the floor. Why am I not on the bed with you?" I tell her, "You can come back up here. You know you can." Then she looks at me as if to reply, "I can? How?" I tell her, "You've done it before." Her look then seems to say, "I'm not sure if I can make it." I tell her she can. Then she whines one last time and then BOOM! - she's on the bed.

I understand the whining when I've been gone for a few days or all day cuz of work or something... since that's just "Mommy! I missed you! Sit down so I can sit on you and you can pet me!"

But when I'm in the room?

Perhaps if I had my own place where she could roam about wherever things would be different. As it is, I know she's very Mommy-centric. At an old place I had with a couple other girls, if I closed my door for any reason, and she wasn't in the room with me, she would HOOOOooooowwwwllll!!! Ugh. I love her, but it's like "Baby. Mommy loves you too much to muzzle you so PLEASE shut up!"

Okay. Times up.

Things I gotta do in the next few days: go to the bank, go to the post office, mail off car stuff, do laundry, make lunch, try to clean my room a bit, pack, sleep, drink lots of water, plot out my July 4th, go to the chiro... I think that's it (for now).

All right, time to post this thing and get back to work.

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae