Conflict: Twist the Knife Slowly

Conflict: Week 3 of Re-visioning Your Story Violence is not Conflict. It is not action. It is not bickering, or worry, or dreams, or traveling. Unfortunately, many seasoned and novice writers mistake one or all of those things for conflict. Why is conflict so difficult for the writer? Because human beings naturally shy away from conflict. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes outright dangerous. But conflict is essential to storytelling for as Robert McKee says in his book, Story, “Nothing moves forward in a story except through conflict.”: So, you ask, if conflict is not action, violence, bickering, etc., is conflict an obstacle? Well, yes and no. An obstacle can present your character with something he must overcome, but if it does not present a dilemma, your reader may not care. Definition In How to Tell a Story: The Secrets of Writing Captivating Tales by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost, the authors give what I believe is the best definition of conflict I’ve ever read. “The idea of conflict can be reduced to the word no.” Someone or something is saying no to your character. Yet, compelling conflict is more than someone saying no. It’s more than an obstacle; it’s something that […]

LESSONS FROM 2017 & STRATEGIES FOR 2018

It’s New Years Day. Happy New Years! Did you make a list of resolutions? I didn’t. According to Forbes, less than 8% of people achieve their resolutions. I can attest to that fact. I’ve made a ton of resolutions and rarely achieved my goals. For a long time, I thought that meant I wasn’t a goal-oriented person. Hogwash! I spent a portion of 2017 documenting what I achieved in my bullet journal. My bullet journal was an experiment. I wanted to record goals and accomplishments, desires, and what I learned each day. Turns out the lessons I learned in 2017 were many. I learned that I accomplished a lot of things. And I learned a few things I hope to use to make 2018 a better year. I’m sharing my lessons here in the hopes that you might use one or two of my lessons and also have a better year in 2018. Healing happens in its own time. This applies to healing from diabetic wounds, healing from grief, or even healing from a common cold. To say that it takes time is an understatement that is a disservice. Not because of the amount of time but because healing is […]