How I Learned to Crush My Darlings’ Souls

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

As a reader, I’ve always understood how important it is for the characters in a novel to suffer.  If the main character doesn’t suffer enough, a novel fails to engage me no matter how much I might like the character or the prose.  As I look back at the books I’ve loved at different points in my life — from Little Women to The Lord of the Rings; from Catch-22 to The Remains…


Conflict for the Conflict Averse: An Interview with Michelle Hoover

Monday, October 19, 2015

  I hate conflict, so I wasn’t surprised when I had trouble putting my characters into difficult situations. When I set out to write a novel, I wanted to create a town filled with people that I loved. Couldn’t I write a story about a bunch of people who cared about each other? Isn’t the world filled with enough trouble as it is? Don’t we read to escape stress? Needless to…


Deb Amy Channels Cinderella And Embraces Conflict In Women’s Fiction

This statue-angel-thingy sits on my desk displaying one of my mottos: Embrace Change.  Frankly if I hadn’t, and didn’t, and wouldn’t, I’d be up the proverbial tree and creek. But in my writing world of women’s fiction (no heroes, no zombies, no high heels) the opposite must be true. Your main character (mc), and perhaps your secondary characters as well, cannot embrace change. At least not at first. Conflict must…

Friday, December 14, 2012

Deb Dana Raises the Stakes

In real life, the only stakes I feel comfortable messing with are spelled s-t-e-a-k-s. Give me a filet mignon or a good old brisket, and I’m happy. In writing, however, I am forced to deal with s-t-a-k-e-s. Not only do I need to know what is at stake for my characters; I also need to raise those stakes at every opportunity. How do I do that? By adding conflict. As…

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In Which Deb Kerry is Conflicted

In my real life, I am a conflict avoider. Conflict is so messy – it brings up unhappy emotions, and people get mad or cry and in my mind, despite all my counselor training, I tell myself that if only I were different and better and more accepting, the conflict wouldn’t be necessary. Which is totally absurd, of course. It’s not possible to go through life as a reasonably authentic…

Monday, December 10, 2012