Thursday, June 17, 2010

More About Conflict

Yesterday, in my article about Where Love Once Lived, I told you about ways to add conflict between characters to your novel. I ended the article by saying there are other ways to add tension to keep those pages turning.

The Complete Handbook of Novel WritingIn The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, Carol Davis Luce defines tension as "the act of building or prolonging a crisis." She goes on to give some examples and ends the chapter with this: "How you build that suspense can make the difference between your readers chucking your book for a good night's sleep or nudging their spouse to say, 'the suspense is killing me.'"

In addition to the conflict between characters, there is also inner conflict. In the same book, referenced above, Kathy Jacobson describes ways to give a character an inner conflict.

Elements of Writing Fiction - Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)In Where Love Once Lived, Brian has more inner conflicts than conflicts with other characters. He's unsure of his spirituality and has been looking for forgiveness in all the wrong places for the past thirty years. Karen has been keeping a secret for the same length of time and has moved closer to God in the process.

Another good book to check is Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham. It is loaded with useful information about and examples of conflict and suspense.

If you're a writer I'd love to hear how you include conflict, tension and suspense in your work.

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