Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two Dogs, One Bone

Conflict. Conflict. Conflict.

Why is that such a hard concept to grasp? I start out with what I think is a compelling conflict but midway through the MS I find I'm struggling to keep the intensity going. And I wonder why I made the choices I did at the beginning of the story because I could have set it up so much better. And yet, I've been told that I have a lot going on so I don't want to add another conflict on top of the ones I already have. I just want to deepen to ones I have.

Okay, honestly I just want to ditch the whole thing and start on a brand new, shiny manuscript. Because I know my next idea is better, and I could write it really fast... and yes, that's the delusional trip I travel at least once every couple of weeks when I write a book. The next idea is always better. And I've come up with at least four new ideas this week alone. If only I could focus all that creativity on the current MS.

I decided this week I didn't have enough external conflict, that somehow my heroine needed to be a road block to my Hero's external goal. I came up with several logical scenarios but it sends the story in a direction I don't think I like.  Now I'm doing a list of twenty reasons how or why the heroine can stop the hero's project. I've spent all day working  on this and still I haven't found the key.

And I'm at the point that I'm embarrassed when people ask me what I'm working on now and I tell them the same thing I was working on six months ago. And no, I'm not nearly finished. Thanks for asking.


Michelle Helliwell said...

Anne, Anne, Anne...if you want to feel better ask me how I'm doing on mine...I was supposed to be finished by now - months ago, and voila, here I am, with at least another third left to go.

Sounds like you're frustrated. I think I read an article by Deb Hale about getting an idea note book and everytime you're tempted, just write your ideas down in there, and leave it.

Maybe you need a fresh set of eyes on it...there maybe more opportunity for conflict there but sometimes it's hard to see yourself.

Janet said...

I hear ya - frustration and anxiety seem to be my closest friends these days. And I understand fully the desire to ditch AND the "non-accomplishment" when it comes to friends and family.

Unfortunately, I have no words of wisdom other than have you tried to write the ending (as you envision it now)? It might give you an idea as to deepening the conflict.

Good luck, Anne!

(And Michelle - I still can't access your blog :(