Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Internal Conflict

One of the things I've thought about when I started revising/rewriting my ms...is what the editor said in her suggestions. I'm trying to focus on her comments. One of the things she commented on was the lack of internal conflict for my heroine. I could semi-understand (Is that even a word?) what she's talking about...I think. I mean, I think my internal conflict is great but I guess I didn't get it down the way it was in my head. Big difference between thinking it...and getting it conveyed on paper.

I thought about what internal conflict was and how to get it down so that the reader can see what's in my head. (Which could really scare someone;) It seems to be...putting the reader into the storyline. Making them feel what your heroine/character is dealing with - internally. An emotional POV because her conflict is what's driving her emotionally.

My character has a great motivation...which is also causing her conflict. How many times have we've been driving down the road...or doing dishes...taking a shower, and thought about our problems? My heroine's internal conflict is something we all deal with...doubt. In her situation it should be easy ~ because of what's causing the conflict. A teenager. If you're a parent, doubt goes hand-in-hand with the daily decisions we have in dealing with the drama a teen can create.

What drives your character's emotions...their motivation? Why? Question their reasons and reactions to conflict. And ask why.

7 comments:

Chicki said...

There is so much we need to include in our stories. Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to get it right.

I'm spending this year going over the manuscripts I've written that I have polished for submission. My character's goals an motivation are always pretty clear to me, but I really need to examine their internal conflict of my characters.

Let me know how it's going for you.

Chelle Sandell said...

I'm afraid I'm focusing too much on technique and it's making me doubt the words...essentially it's keeping the words from flowing. I need to turn my brain off.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ugh. This is important but don't "over think" it. Know your characters and tell their story. :)

Patricia W. said...

I hear you on the technique issue, Chelle. It can be almost paralyzing. As Chicki said, so many things to try to get right.

Chelle Sandell said...

I wrote out a little index card with main points to remember as I write...emotional POV, 5 senses, pacing and balance b/w dialogue and narrative. I think I'm getting better about backing off of backstory overload. LOL! At least I hope.

Annie Doyle said...

I like the question you've posed. I haven't defined their motivation before, especially in one word. It made me think. One is motivated by fear, the other regret. Putting it like that, clarifies some things even though I think I know them well. Always helps to come back to this basic examination of our characters and what drives them.
Thanks for getting my cogs turning (in my head I mean)
Annie

Chelle Sandell said...

I hear so many authors referencing GMC. Sam Hunter on the Supers thread did a great workshop at eHarlequin about motivation. She gave some great pointers on how motivation fuels a character's goals and reactions. Their past can sometimes drive their future. She suggested doing character charts as to why they react the way they do when something happens. It helps with consistency throughout the storyline. I think the link is gone now. If you want...I'll see if I can find it. Let me know if you're interested.