Category Archives: Conflict

How To Turn Your Setting Into An Obstacle Course

  Becca and I are big believers in making the setting work hard in EVERY scene. A terrific way to do this is to turn a setting into a magnet for conflict. After all, the hero or heroine’s path to … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Description, Emotion, Pacing, Setting Thesaurus Guides, Show Don't Tell, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 17 Comments

Friends as Enemies

One thing that Angela and I discovered time and again as we put the Rural and Urban Setting Thesaurus books together is just how influential the setting is on a story. Setting has its collective fingers in a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Emotion, One Stop For Writers, Subtext, Tension, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Conflict vs Tension

I’m in the middle of exploring a new story idea, which means I’m knee-deep in notes, questions, character interviews, and everything else that goes into the planning process. As Jo March liked to say, “Genius is burning,” and I’m terrified … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Tension, Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Swoonworthy Characters, Pre-Apocalyptic Reading, and More

We’re in desperate straits, people. DESPERATE STRAITS. Due to my aversion to being sued for using permission-restricted images, I tried REALLY HARD to find the perfect public domain pics for today’s post. No dice. So I decided to make my … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Tension, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Conflict vs Tension

I’ve had a writing epiphany that I’m DYING to share with people who won’t stare blankly at me while I talk and smile politely when I’m done. Lucky all of you. One of my critiquers recently said something that made … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 49 Comments

Want High Stakes? Amp up the Stress!

In the real world, we avoid stress whenever possible but in writing, the opposite is true. Why? Because in the land of the Three Act Structure (TAS), STRESS = CONFLICT. In the TAS, our main character has a need or … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, High Stakes, Writing Lessons | 33 Comments