Friday, August 24, 2012

What Is Keeping Your Heroine and Hero Apart? Is It Enough?

Conflict is a huge deal in romance writing. We want to see the hero and heroine get together, and, because it is a romance, we know they will. The challenge for the reader is to see how they go about getting to that final happily every after.

Conflict is also one of those points that is often a big reason for why an editor or an agent might pass on a story. In simple terms, the challenges before the characters simply isn't big enough. The conflict is nothing more than a bump in the road that can be fixed too easily.

When we see stories like this, the weak conflict often trickles down to the rest of the plot issues in the story. Now the characters just keep doing things in the story that seem pointless to the reader. The author, in an effort to keep things going in the story just starts adding "stuff" to the plot. We often see scenes that are repetitive leaving the reader with a sense of "oh come on, just fix it and move on." The problem though is that, "fixing it" means the story stops in the first few chapters of the book. Now what?

You have to really put a big barrier in front of them. Nothing impossible, but it needs to be significant enough that someone could risk losing something. Please also note, I am using the "singular" of the word conflict here. No, you should not throw in multiple conflicts just to create a bigger barrier. Doing this runs the risk of turning the reader off because the solution is just too impossible.

This weekend, it is time to go and explore those conflicts!


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