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!

1 comment:

  1. I totally act out scenes with myself. in character voices even. But only if I'm sure I'm by myself.

    As for conflict...

    I think it's best not to over complicate things. The main conflict should be the plot of your the world from giant monsters. Then a secondary conflict of some sort be it a partnership or love interest.

    Maybe that's over simplifying things, but I don't usually think about this bit too much.