Oh my, it’s already September! You know what that means? Nano is right around the corner. For those of you who don’t know what that is…Nano is writing a book in a month. http://nanowrimo.org/
So in the interest of gearing up for it, I thought I’d use Tool-box Tuesday to give you some tools to get ready. This is the first in a series we’ll be doing on building your outline. Now I know there are those of you out there who write by the seat of your pants. But if you’re going to write a book in a month, you might want to have at least a basic outline. I myself am a plotting maniac and love the process, but I thought I would narrow it down for those who don’t plot or for those of you who like me, are flat out crazy busy but want to have a basic outline before the 1st of Nov. So today I’m going to talk about conflict.
Conflict-This is the key to any novel, short or long, no matter the Genre. If you were building a house, you would need a solid foundation for the structure to be strong and durable, right? Think of conflict as the foundation you will build your entire story structure on. It has to be a big enough conflict to hold up though the entire story and if you’re lucky, possibly one or two small spin off conflicts. This conflict cannot be solved easily and should involve showing growth from either the hero or heroine or both. Here is an example from the book I’m currently revising:
- Hero does not just have a serious aversion to psychics based on experience from younger years, he also believes their con artists.
- Heroine is a psychic who has been betrayed in the past by ex-Fiancé because he couldn’t live with her psychic abilities.
Here I’ve used one conflict to involve both my Hero and Heroine. You can see from the example above that both my characters are going to have to grow, compromise, and take chances in order for this to work. It does not necessarily have to be that way. You can have a conflict that focuses more on one or the other character that ends up being the major conflict. Here is another example of the top of my head that does that:
- Hero is a soldier recovering from an injury and suffering from PTSD.
- Heroine is a physical therapist working with him to overcome his physical injury, but recognizes the signs of PTSD and wants to help him.
You can see in the example above that the main conflict will be the Hero’s. So the major character ARC will probably be his. But there will still be a journey they both have to take, and a conflict to resolve before they can have their HEA.
In the coming weeks we will start building on the foundation of the conflict until we have a workable outline to use for Nano. I really do love plotting, so would love for y’all to share an example of the conflict you’re either already working with or one you’re thinking about using for Nano. If you haven’t yet, make this the year you reach your goal in November!