>We all know that conflict needs to be upfront in our plot. Without the conflict the plot droops. It looses its flavor and readers faster than an empty box of turtles will at an office Christmas party.
So what do you do when you send out our novel to your beta’s and it comes back with ‘where’s the conflict in this scene/chapter/section/story?’ You go through and to you it’s there. This is when you start to eat more chocolate, start an email with “what are you talking about, didn’t you read the story, the conflict is SO evident ….” only to realize if they don’t see it, then it’s not there. You waste hours going over that scene, but you don’t know what to do, what conflict to add … it’s almost as if you have writers block for this one small thing.
Well …. I’m reading this book (it’s a top secret book but it’s about writing) and I had an eureka moment (imagine huge flashes of chocolate bonbons dancing before my eyes – for me that’s my flashbulb moment). But the author (Susie Bright) has this exercise to use when you need to insert conflict into a scene or story. It’s perfect and full of cliches’ but that’s what makes it so perfect.
Find that scene that lacks conflict. Now insert one of the three choices – your protag gets sick/loses her job/finds out a secret about herself she/he didn’t know. Cliche right – yeah, I know. Bear with me though.
Now write a few paragraphs about it – yes, squish it into your scene, make it fit even when it doesn’t. Don’t worry about how stupid it makes the scene or how much you HATE the whole secret life aspect. Just do it. Write those paragraphs, have some fun with it. Just let loose. That writers’ block you thought you had – GONE. 9 times out of 10, as you are writing that redundant scene about your character finding out a stupid secret that you hate to even think about – you’ll have your own lightbulb moment. It will come to you – the perfect conflict!
Delete the conflict addition you wrote just for the sake of it and include this new idea that just came to you. Rewrite it a few times until it’s perfect. Then resend it to your beta with a “I’m so smart, look at what I wrote, I’m going to each chocolate now to celebrate” type of post 🙂
See how easy that was!!!