Sunday, 19 June 2011

Back in Business

After a fantastic Wedding and a well-earned break it's back to the serious matter of trying to make it as a professional writer.  More on that in a minute.

First, as promised, a quick wedding snap

It was an amazing, whirlwind day with lots of pacing and palpitating, but mostly deep joy and happiness.  I think i finally relaxed in to it after my speech, and then it whizzed by, just as everyone had warned us.

Anyway you didn't click on blog of whispers for wedding advice (or did you?), so here's a bit of an update and some thoughts on conflict (not marital!).

For some time now I've been struggling with Amy's character.  She just wasn't coming alive on the page and the conflicts she had felt forced and superficial.  I think i was trying to make her conform to the plot rather than letting the plot be driven by her actions, hence she's been walking around with her arms tied behind her back.

So I've made a bold decision and taken her character back to the roots to give her a second chance at life - and this time she gets to call the shots!

I also realised in revisiting those first couple of chapters that i have failed to resist the urge to tell rather than show.  There's a lot of information in those first pages that doesn't need to be there.  Stuff that should be revealed gradually and subtly.  By tweaking and restructuring I've managed to use subtext to tell Amy's story and build her character.  But a character is not much without.............


Conflict creates a need for a solution and by exploring the character(s) attitude towards the conflict and the way in which they come to a solution gives us the basis of a plot.  That plot should drive towards the resolution of the initial conflict.

Along the way that initial conflict may generate secondary or tertiary conflicts, which gives the story its subplots.

Conflict can be physical, emotional or spiritual and caused by love, hate, religion, money, politics, sporting affiliation, musical preference, the choice between red or white wine with a meal, in fact any important or trivial decision to be made between two characters.

Good conflict creates tension, suspense, suspicion, anger, upset, and ultimately relief.  Some characters create conflict knowingly, even deliberately, but others can create conflict unwittingly, simply through seemingly innocent actions, maybe because they are not aware how others view them or feel about them, or because they don't know what is expected of them. 


  1. Congratulations on your wedding. Hope getting back to reality isn't too much of an anticlimax.

    I haven't posted here before but I read about your blog in Writing Magazine and never did anything about it.

    Now, having read your blog, I wish I'd read it much earlier. Like you I'm editing my novel although am now on the third draft and am finding that the plot has more holes than a tea bag. I'm also finding that the editing process is taking a lot longer than anticipated. I have a deadline of August to submit for a critiqe and am now doubtful that I'll have it finished by then. But the way you are so focussed on your editing has helped to inspire me to get a move on. Many thanks.