Alice’s Restaurant

October 25, 2006

Needs More Conflict.

Filed under: FanLit, Writing Craft — aliceaudrey @ 5:36 am

I find myself putting this in the comment line a fair amount this round.  I can just hear the authors who receive it sputtering about how it’s the final chapter, already.  Why can’t they just tie up a few loose ends and be done with it!

Boy, I feel your pain.  I really do.  And I was tempted to simply go through the laundry list of issues that needed to be dealt with to make the story work, but I already know from bitter experience that every single scene, darn near every sentence, needs conflict.

Why?  Because without it no matter how pretty, or fun, or seemingly meaningful, the scene, chapter, or entry without conflict is boring.

The first word that comes to my mind when I say boring is “ouch”.  You can do everything else right, but if you end up boring, you have lost your audience.

But seriously, conflict is the most powerful tool available to an author for 1] gaining reader interest.  2] keeping reader interest 3] revealing character 4] moving a plot forward  5] developing themes, and did I mention something about reader interest?

Conflict doesn’t need to be melodramatic or large-scale, or even significant, although that’s nice.  It simply needs to be something that your reader can relate to and appropriate for the material.

I could say a lot more about it, but I’m trying not to be so long winded.  See?  I’m in conflict.  *grin*



  1. Curiously enough, you didn’t put that in my short story, because my other CP said that.

    Comment by miladyinsanity — October 25, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

  2. Conflict as in… you don’t want to see Patience and Damien immediately forgiving each other and reconciling? LOL I couldn’t see that happening either, even though I wanted to do just that and push the two together for good.

    Comment by Cat — October 25, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  3. Have them imediately realize they had always loved each other even when he can’t remember her name in the first chapter?

    Oh, come on and admit you are just like me. You want to kill them both.

    Overturned carriage anyone?


    Comment by aliceaudrey — October 25, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  4. ROFL!! Overturned carriage… Yes, I was thinking it would be great to kill them off in a parody, but then I thought that was a bit extreme. Haha!

    Comment by Cat — October 25, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  5. I wish someone had written a crazy phaeton chase as a riff on car chases in action flicks.

    And yes, killing them off would’ve been tempting to do in a parody. 🙂

    Comment by Lynne — October 26, 2006 @ 2:27 am

  6. Um… it wasn’t a parody,but in one of my entries I kind of did do a crazy phaeton chase.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — October 26, 2006 @ 5:25 am

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