Write It Anyway
I blew the dust off another blog post from 2010, which is the year I started writing "seriously" and wanted to share it with you today. This one is about how I had trouble creating conflict at first. How difficult it was for me to drag my characters through the muck since I liked them so darn much.
I don't have as much trouble with conflict now as I did back then. Probably due to me setting them up with a slew of it before I even start writing the book. I know my characters' motivations and what they care about. I know what they want, so it's easier to layer in that conflict before the resolution at the end.
As I type this, however, I'm aware that on my current MS draft, I'm struggling with the black moment. What will ultimately break my couple up? I'm not 100% sure yet, but I do have a meandering list of vague possibilities. 😬
But for those of you who have problems giving your characters, well, problems, I'm including this blog from Sm:) Feel Good, written by me--a writer who wanted very badly to be published--all about my struggle to do the same.
This blog originally posted 7/10/2010 on my blog Sm:)e Feel Good.
WRITE IT ANYWAY
(or, The Super Sweet Rainbow Fairy Princess)
I love happily ever afters! Which explains why I have trouble writing the scenes where I’m pulling my characters apart or where they are not seeing eye to eye. I don’t want them to go to bed angry, I want them to resolve their conflict and live, well, happily ever after! And they will… just not as soon as I’d like them to.
Often when I’m plugging along during a scene where my Hero and heroine are arguing, or crying or are in (to quote The Princess Bride) the “Pit of Despair.” Then suddenly the Super Sweet Rainbow Fairy Princess inside of me says:
“Let them be happy, make up, have the moment they are wishing for!” (do you hear Glenda the Good Witch’s voice when you read that? ‘Cause I sure do.)
So, like a genie in a lamp (for I am all-powerful and can write and rewrite history) I wave my magic mouse. Poised over my fairy-dusted keyboard, I give everyone what they want and write the most fulfilling scene ever for everyone involved.
Which would be great… if it was the end.
So what to do? I’m taking the H & h through proverbial pratfalls and misunderstandings, heartbreak and self-doubt… and it’s hard, and unpleasant. But for the story to fulfill everyone, reader and characters alike, I must let them transform rather than grant their wish.
Once you learn this, however, the Super Sweet Rainbow Fairy Princess within still begs, ( from her candy-cane barred prison) “Let me out! I want to give them everything they want!”
So, what to do? Write it Anyway.
“WHAT?!” I hear you saying. “But in your earlier blog you said stories need conflict!”
And that is true. But remember my last post? I also gave you permission to Kill your Darlings and delete those beloved scenes and characters that simply don’t work.
Where was I? Oh yes…
So write it! Get it out! Make the problems magically disappear – or maybe it’s one of those times when the Super Sweet Rainbow Fairy Princess within is trumped by the Evil No-Good-Doer Demon Seed, in which case you feel compelled to put your character in grave danger, or even kill off somebody. Then what?
Write it anyway.
Editing is your friend. You can take out superfluous or ridiculous story lines later. If you’re not totally comfortable typing it into your draft, open a new file and call it “Screwy ideas” and visit it later. You’d be surprised at the times you can look back at the brainstorming and find something useful. But trust me, you need it out of the way, you need to purge the syrupy sweetness and the maniacal madness, so (repeat after me):
Write. It. Anyway.
Smile, Feel Good, Pass it On (will ya?)