Conflict Thesaurus Entry: Being Turned Down by a Potential Love Interest

Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Being Turned Down by a Potential Love Interest

Category: Failures and mistakes, relationship friction, loss of control, ego

Asking out a stranger or acquaintance and being turned down
Being “friend-zoned” when the character tries to take a friendship to the next level
Asking someone out for a second date and being rejected
Planning to ask someone out, then learning that they aren’t romantically interested (via an intercepted text or email message, overhearing a conversation, etc.)

Minor Complications:
Responding awkwardly, compounding embarrassment
Having to see the person regularly (at work, school, church, in the neighborhood, etc.)
Feeling reluctance to ask others out
Being embarrassed publicly (if the rejection happened in a public place or online)

Potentially Disastrous Results:
The character’s entire future falling apart before his or her eyes (because they’re in love with the other party)
Rebounding by jumping into an unhealthy relationship with anyone who is willing or available
The rejection triggering an addiction (if the character is a recovering addict) and contributing to a relapse
Doing something stupid in the aftermath as a way of compensating (picking a fight with someone, having a one-night stand, etc.)
Swearing off romantic relationships forever (if this was the latest in a series of rejections) and being alone
Not taking no for an answer (continuing to pursue the other party, stalking them, intimidating them, etc.)
Determining to win the love interest over (through accomplishment, lavishing gifts, being friends until they come around, etc.)

Possible Internal Struggles (Inner Conflict):
Struggling with feelings of insecurity and self-doubt
Developing a fear of rejection
The character comparing him or herself to others and finding themselves lacking
Negative self-talk that contributes to low esteem (You’re so stupid, She was way out of your league, No one wants to be with you, etc.)

People Who Could Be Negatively Affected: the love interest, people the character interacts with negatively in the aftermath (other romantic parties, family, friends, etc.)

Resulting Emotions: Anger, apprehension, betrayed, bitterness, depressed, desperation, determination, devastation, disappointment, discouraged, doubt, dread, emasculated, embarrassment, flustered, hurt, inadequate, indignation, insecurity, longing, reluctance, resentment, sadness, self-pity, stunned, uncertainty, unease, vulnerability

Personality Flaws that May Make the Situation Worse: Addictive, controlling, hostile, insecure, macho, martyr, possessive, self-destructive, volatile

Positive Outcomes: 
Knowing the other person isn’t interested (enabling the character to move on)
Recognizing mistakes in technique, and improving the process for next time (getting to know the person better first, changing the approach, etc.)
Recognizing that the other person wasn’t a fit, and being ok with that
Determining to be careful when rejecting others to avoid hurting them unnecessarily
Appreciating “singleness” and the benefits it brings

If you’re interested in other conflict options, you can find them here.

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How to Show Holiday Love to Critique Partners & Writing Groups

This time of year always makes me appreciate the people in my life, personally and professionally.

It’s been a year of adjustment for me. My kids “left the nest” and so not having access to them as I used to is a bit hard. Each time I see them now is a special gift, and so I am looking forward to the holiday when that will happen. And as the year winds down for “writer” me, I reflect on my accomplishments and think about the people that have helped me move forward.

Where would any of us be without the support and kindness of our fellow writers? My gosh, when I think about how Sacha Black came to my rescue when I needed help understanding ads, or how Mel Jolly let me and Becca pick her brain about outsourcing at a conference, or how our street team members worked tirelessly to help launch the newly expanded Emotion Thesaurus… I am FILLED with gratitude. Plus there are those who have offered to beta read for us, the people who share our blog posts and tweets, review our books, mention us to their writing groups, and on and on. My gosh. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to do what I do!

I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to say “I appreciate you,” so I put together a list of ways to do that, some free, some low cost.

Gifts for Writers: Free

An encouraging note. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is a kind word at just the right time. A facebook post. A tweet. An email. Public or private, let someone know how much you have enjoyed working with them this year and that you appreciate them.

A beta read or chapter critique. Feedback is what we all need but it can be intimidating to ask. If there’s someone who has really helped and supported you, why not tell them you’d like to gift them some feedback? You can even create a certificate, like this one I created with Canva!

A book review. If you’re like me, your time is constantly being swallowed by other things. If book reviews are something you always mean to get around to doing but forget, take a few moments to visit the books you love and leave some words on Amazon or other e-tailers. It helps so much. Then tag the author online so they know!

A pair of free ebooks. Tamar Sloan is one of our Resident Writing Coaches and she’s created two writing guides that can be downloaded for free. This pair is packed with value, perfect for reading over the holiday break.

A Show, Don’t Tell Thesaurus Writing Guide Sampler. Some of you have one or more of our books and/or spread the word about these books to others (THANK YOU FOR THAT!) We realize our guides are a bit different and might be harder to describe, so we’ve created a thesaurus sampler (Download it here!). It contains show, don’t tell advice, links to our best articles, and has a thesaurus entry from each book. If you know someone who struggles with showing, this is an all-in-one helpful kit. 🙂

Gifts for Writers: Low Cost

If you are looking for a gift, something inexpensive yet hugely valuable, here are some of our top picks.

(may contain affiliate links, but we stand behind all these suggestions)

James Scott Bell’s Write from the Middle writing guide ($3.99). This is a thoughtful digital gift for any writer that struggles at the novel’s midpoint. My favorite “mini-guide” from Jim, hands down.

K.M.Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs writing guide ($3.99). All of Katie’s books are great, but I am particularly fond of this one because so many writers struggle with Character Arcs and it digs into what they are and how to create them in a straightforward way.

Angela (that’s me!) and Becca’s Emotion Amplifiers (.99). This ebooklet is a companion to The Emotion Thesaurus, and contains show, don’t tell lists for what some call “near emotions” (stress, boredom, pain, attraction, and more). Set up like our other books, it’s full of ideas on how amplifiers can unbalance your character’s emotions so they make more mistakes, creating conflict!

A One Stop for Writers Gift Certificate ($9.00 and up).

I’m biased, but I think this site should be in every writer’s toolkit. Imagine writing your next story with the largest fiction-based description database available anywhere at your side. Or creating your next character with a tool intelligent enough to build an accurate Character Arc blueprint for you. And that’s just two of the resources we have at One Stop. A 1-month gift certificate is the cost of 2 lattes, and will give your writing friend’s storytelling a big boost.

If you need more ideas, just think about what you would really like as a writer. Chances are what appeals to you will also appeal to others in the writing path.

What’s the BEST writing-related gift you’ve received? Let me know in the comments!

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Win $2600 in Prizes In Our Advent for Writers Calendar Giveaway

It’s day 10 on our Advent Calendar for Writers giveaway and the mystery prizes are blowing people away.

So far there are giveaways for…

Plus today’s Advent Calendar Giveaway. (Just click the window to the left and see what prize you can enter to win!)

And there are more mystery prizes up for grabs so remember to check back each day right up until December 14th when the last prize is revealed. At that point all draws will be open and you can enter all 14 giveaways.

This is a special time of the year, and writers are special people. As you enter these giveaways, please take a moment to than the person or company that has so generously donated a prize to help us celebrate writers and how hard they work in pursuit of this dream!

If you have a moment, would you mind sharing this giveaway with others? We’d love to give every writer the opportunity to try and win something that will help their career. Thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Conflict Thesaurus Entry: Nepotism at Work

Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Nepotism at work

Category: Power struggles, relationship friction, moral dilemmas and temptation, losing an advantage, loss of control, ego

Not getting a promotion because it was given to the boss’s nephew
The office suck-up being given an important or lucrative client
Being forced to train or babysit a new hire with no experience or capability who was given the job because of their connection to the boss
A brown-nosing co-worker being put in charge of the character’s team or project
An unethical co-worker escaping consequences because of their relationship with the boss
Bidding for a job but losing out to someone with a connection to a higher-up
Being ordered to overlook certain things from a preferential client
Legitimately complaining about a co-worker who is friends with an influential person and being punished in some way for doing so
Being reprimanded for a one-time infraction (being late to work, being out of uniform, etc.) that the boss’s son repeatedly does without consequence
The boss’s brother-in-law receiving perks that other employees don’t (a business credit card, a coveted parking space, Yankees tickets, etc.)

Minor Complications:
Morale in the workplace slowly declining
Cliques forming in the office
Being sucked into office politics
Being unable to fully focus on work due to all the drama
The character’s work load increasing because the favored employee is incompetent or lazy
Contempt for the boss dictating the character’s response to him or her

Potentially Disastrous Results:
The character rocking the boat and losing their job or being demoted
Talking to the wrong person about the nepotism and being punished for it
The environment becoming so toxic that the character has to quit and find new work
Responding in a way that compromises the character’s ethics (avenging oneself on the party, spreading rumors about them, etc.)
Speaking out against the favored party and being sabotaged by them
Becoming stuck professionally; not being able to advance
Becoming apathetic and underachieving, believing there’s no point in putting in extra effort

Possible Internal Struggles (Inner Conflict):
Struggling with jealousy, resentment, or even rage
Uncertainty over whether the nepotism is real or imagined
Being tempted to suck up to the boss to gain advancement
Self-doubt setting in as the character wonders if their inability to advance is their own fault
Feeling guilty because the character didn’t say anything, and the favored employee continues to be advanced above other qualified employees
Becoming jaded and seeing favoritism where it doesn’t exist

People Who Could Be Negatively Affected: Co-workers, employees, clients

Resulting Emotions: Agitation, anger, annoyance, betrayed, bitterness, contempt, defiant, desperation, determination, disappointment, discouraged, disillusionment, dissatisfaction, doubt, frustration, indignation, insecurity, intimidated, jealousy, neglected, paranoia, powerlessness, rage, resentment, resignation, unappreciated, uncertainty

Personality Flaws that May Make the Situation Worse: Catty, childish, controlling, devious, hypocritical, inhibited, insecure, martyr, needy, paranoid

Positive Outcomes: 
Helping the new employee learn the business, and that person becoming the character’s ally
Finding the courage to speak out against wrongdoing
Digging deep and becoming even better at the job
Recognizing the unfairness of nepotism and resolving never to be guilty of it

If you’re interested in other conflict options, you can find them here.

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Mastering Show, Don’t Tell

We hear it over and over: Show, don’t tell. You can’t get away from this advice, not in writing workshops, at conferences, or heck, even when visiting this blog. Writers Helping Writers and the thesaurus work we do is all about strengthening show, don’t tell skills.

There’s a good reason for this, though. Showing draws a reader in so they are more emotionally involved. Telling informs.

Often paired with “show, don’t tell” advice is the assertion that not all telling is bad. That’s also true. Telling is necessary, and acts as a balance to showing. If everything was shown, books would be 400,000 word monstrosities. An our readers? Asleep after twenty pages.

Does this means our stories should be equal parts showing and telling? Not by a long shot. In storytelling, showing is King.

The spirit of show, don’t tell is recognizing when a detail or moment is important, and then slowing things down briefly to describe it.

Now “slowing things down” doesn’t mean lazy, liquid writing – far from it. Adding sugary, fluffy words without purpose might pretty up a sentence, but it also slows the pace and weakens writing.

Think of words as currency–limited currency. If we only have so many words to work with, we become more careful about how we use them.

Being choosy is a good thing in writing. Is something important to the story? Will it add meaning and depth, reveal something about the characters, and enhances the reader’s experience? If so, it’s probably a detail to expand upon.

Show, Don’t Tell & Emotion

Most articles and workshops on show, don’t tell focus on emotion. It’s no wonder because emotion is one area where showing almost always trumps telling. After all, we want readers to feel part of what’s happening and connect with what a character is feeling, and it’s easier to do that through showing. Consider these:

Dee waited for Kirk to get home. She was furious. (Telling)

Dee paced the kitchen. She was as mad as Hell. (Weak showing + telling)

Dee lapped the kitchen table, crushing fistfuls of air and counting the minutes until she’d have something more solid to choke. Kirk was a dead man. (Showing.)

Showing engages. It involves. It can make readers feel like they are participating in the moment. That’s why scenes with emotions usually have a higher percentage of showing.

Show, don’t tell is something that we should always keep at the front of our mind as it forces us to think about the reader’s experience and how to make it better. And because we want to do more with less (word currency) we try harder to find the best words to describe something. When we become picky about our description and language, our writing improves!

Show, Don’t Tell & Setting

Setting is a powerful element in fiction. It can be used in so many ways: to help readers imagine the scene, infuse a moment with emotion and mood, foreshadow, create tension, characterize…. On and on it goes. Consider this:

Mary stopped on the sidewalk. The house in front of her was old and creepy. This couldn’t be the right place, could it? (Telling)

The house towered over Mary, blocking the sun and stealing warmth from the air. Peeling porch steps sagged and the shutters hung askew, like old bones barely able to hold together. Mary dug for the slip of paper Grandmother had given her. This must be the wrong address. Had to be. A cold tingle slid across her shoulders and she froze. Someone, or something, was watching. (Showing)

Showing usually requires more word count, which is why we want to think carefully about which details to include and which not to. I could have also described the scabby lawn and toppled flower pots, or even how the trees seemed to bend toward the house as if cradling its secrets. But it’s easy to get carried away, especially when you are trying to build atmosphere and mood. Choose powerful details that do the job and keep the writing tight.

Show, Don’t Tell & A Character’s Physical Features

Show, don’t tell isn’t always about using one over the other. It’s about using both effectively and challenging ourselves to do more with description. Consider:

Marcy pounded on her upstairs neighbor’s door, ready to lash into the jerk blasting his My dog died and my tractor left me country music at six AM. An old, blue-hair answered, shocking the words right out of Marcy. Not what she expected, not at all.

Marcy pounded on her upstairs neighbor’s door, ready to lash into the jerk blasting his My dog died and my tractor left me country music at six AM. A cherubic grandmother answered, white curls carefully coiffed and a flower-print apron circling her thick waist. “Good morning, dear.” Her smile was the equivalent of a warm cookie on a plate next to an inviting glass of milk.

I, uh, just wanted to introduce myself. Marcy.” She thrust out her hand. “I have the, you know, basement suite.”

Which one sets up the neighbor’s kindly personality and displays Marcy’s shock?

Does every character require thoughtful physical description? No. It’s really up to you to decide which characters are important enough to describe and to what degree, but when you do, challenge yourself to ditch generic details and instead choose ones that give readers insight into who the character is deep down, how they feel, or something else significant and interesting.

Make Each Word Earn the Right to Be Included

Thinking in terms of show don’t tell will make you a more effective storyteller because you get used to doing more with your description.

If you need help getting into this mindset, try One Stop for Writers’ descriptive thesaurus database. It’s the largest database of its kind and will help you brainstorm meaningful details to push the story forward and reveal your character’s deeper layers. If you like our thesaurus books, this database of ours is like that, only much, MUCH bigger.

And just an FYI, One Stop for Writers gift certificates are available if Santa is asking you what you would like for Christmas. 😉

Remember, the reader doesn’t need to know everything, only the important things. Whenever you’re not sure if you should show or tell, just think about what you the audience to get out of this moment. Do you have a point to make? Are you trying to show a character’s deeper emotions, hint at a traumatic past, or showcase how their flawed behavior is holding them back in life? If there’s something important you want readers to see, chances are you need to show.

Posted in Balance, Characters, Mood and Atmosphere, One Stop For Writers, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Is It Necessary to Write EVERY day?

Some time ago I was asked by Writers Digest to participate in a feature with nine other writing teachers. We’d each take a position on a well-known writing “rule.” Then another expert would be matched up taking the opposite side. 

It was a great idea, a lot of fun. It’s always good to think through the fundamentals of the craft. I was told to pick a common teaching I was for, and one I was against. Here they are:  

PRO: Turn Off Your Inner Editor

Writing is a lot like golf, only without the beautiful scenery and checkered pants. 

To get any good at the game, you have to practice like mad, usually under the watchful eye of a good teacher. You have to think a thousand little thoughts as you work on your various shots.

But when you get out on the course you must put all those thoughts aside. If you don’t, you’ll freeze up. You’ll play rigid. 

What you have to do is train yourself to go with the flow and the feel, trusting what you’ve learned. After a round is the time to think about what went wrong and devise ways to practice on the weak areas.

Same goes for writing. You have to write freely when you write, and think about the craft afterward. Write your scene without overthinking it. Let the characters live and breathe. After you’re done, read it over and fix things. I like to check my previous day’s work, edit it lightly, then move on. 

Study writing books and articles, get feedback from readers or a critique group. But when you write, write. That’s how you truly learn the craft.

Practice writing for five or ten minutes without stopping. Write anything—essays, journal entries, prose poems, diatribes, stream-of-consciousness memoirs, letters to yourself. You’ll soon learn to keep that inner editor at bay when you’re actually writing your fiction.

And the best part is you don’t have to wear checkered pants to do it. 

CON: Write Every Day

Don’t think that you have to write every day.

Yes, I’m a big believer in word quotas. One of the earliest, and perhaps still the best pieces of advice I ever got was to set a quota of words and stick to it. 

I used to do a daily count. But a thing called life would often intrude and I’d miss a day. Or there were times when writing seemed like playing tennis in the La Brea tar pits, and that’d be another day I’d miss. 

Such days would leave me surly and hard to live with.

Then I switched to a weekly quota and have used it ever since. That way, if I miss a day, I don’t beat myself up. I write a little extra on the other days. I use a spreadsheet to keep track and add up my word count for the week.

I also intentionally take one day off a week. I call it my writing Sabbath. I find that taking a one-day break charges my batteries like nothing else. Sunday is the day I’ve chosen. On Monday I’m refreshed and ready to go. Plus, my projects have been cooking in my subconscious. The boys in the basement, as Stephen King puts it, are hard at work while I’m taking time off.

I also advocate taking a whole week break from writing each year. Use this time to assess your career, set goals, make plans—because if you aim at nothing, there’s a very good chance you’ll hit it.

What craft fundamentals do you stick to? Is there a so-called “rule” that you can live without? 

James Scott Bell

Resident Writing Coach

Jim is the author of the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure, and numerous thrillers, including Romeo’s Rules, Try Dying and Don’t Leave Me. His popular books on fiction craft can be found here. His thrillers have been called “heart-whamming” (Publishers Weekly) and can be browsed here. Find out more about Jim on our Resident Writing Coach page, and connect with him on

Posted in Goal Setting, Resident Writing Coach, Time Management, Writing Time | 6 Comments

The Advent Calendar for Writers Giveaway is BACK!

It’s the seasonal event to end ALL events: the Writers Helping Writers’ Advent Calendar Giveaway. Last year, a ton of lucky winner snapped up almost $2000 in prizes. This year, holy bananas, people. I can’t wait for you to see what you could win. But first things first!

What the Heck Is an Advent Calendar for Writers?

You know those Advent Calendars that have a delicious chocolate behind each window, counting down to Christmas? Well, it’s like that, only COOLER.

Every day from December 1st to December 14th we will provide a link to a very special giveaway just for writers. You click the link, opening the daily “window” and boom, there will be something fabulous you could win. Things like…

  • Coaching sessions with writing, publishing, and marketing experts
  • Premiere courses to help level up those writing skills
  • Subscriptions to access top writing tools, resources, and communities
  • Editing packages, books, and more!

Ready to Discover Today’s Advent Calendar Prize?

Click the advent window on the right and you’ll be taken straight to today’s giveaway!

14 Days. 14 Advent calendar windows. 14 Amazing prizes with a combined value of $2600 USD!

Dec 1: Write Your First Novel (12-Week Online Workshop with Janice Hardy (valued at $497)
Dec 2:
1-hour Marketing Consult with NYT Bestselling author Eva Lesko Natiello! (valued at $200)
Dec 3:
A 12-month subscription to One Stop for Writers (valued at $90)
Dec 4:
1-Year ProWritingAid License (valued at $70)
Dec 5:
Outlining Your Novel Software (valued at $40)
Dec 6:
The Spun Yarn’s Complete Manuscript Package (valued at $500)
Dec 7:
A Workshop with Writing Coach Jami Gold (valued at $40-$80)
Dec 8:
The complete digital Thesaurus Writing Guide set (valued at $36)
Dec 9:
A first chapter edit by Fawkes Editing (valued at $112)
Dec 10: A professional consult plus 4 writing craft books by Sacha Black (valued at $185)
Dec 11: A Premium Membership Upgrade at Scribophile Alex Cabal, (valued at $65, 3 winners)
Dec 12: A 1-Year Subscription to Novelize! (valued at $45 each, 3 winners drawn)
Dec 13: A 3-Chapter Critique by editor Sara Letourneau (valued at $375)
Dec 14: OPEN: Click the Window above! (valued at $160)

This event runs from Dec 1st to the 19th and winners will be drawn on the 20th.

Huge gratitude to the kind contributors involved in this giveaway.

The best part of our writing community is seeing how people support one another. There are so many folks who give their talents and time to others, being part of a chain that allows us all to succeed.

As you enter these draws, we hope you’ll take a moment to get to know the people and businesses behind them. Everyone involved has a big heart for writers, and a product or service that can help you reach your writing goals. 🙂

Don’t forget to check back each day to see what new Advent giveaway has opened up!

Why not share this giveaway with the writers you know? And good luck to all!

Posted in Uncategorized | 43 Comments

Power Up Your Toolkit for Less: One Stop for Writers is 50% Off

Writing is HARD. We all know it.

So Becca and I joined forces with Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows to make writing easier.

Together we built One Stop for Writers, a portal to powerful resources that can help all creatives–from novice to pro–to write stronger, faster, and deeper.

“One Stop for Writers changed my life! It helped me finish my first novel when I thought it was impossible. The new character builder tool blew my mind.” ~Julie Hiner

“I use One Stop every day. From their Character Builder to the other resources in their library, I couldn’t live without it.” ~Kali Anthony

“One Stop for Writers is pure genius. It’s a great place to organize everything you need for your story. It’s seriously the best thing I have used in a long time.” ~Stephanie Bourbon

These are writers just like you. Writers determined to get their stories into the hands of readers. The best part? They are succeeding.

We’re ready to change the writing game. Are you?

Start 2020 with a powerful tool in your pocket: a One Stop for Writers subscription. Right now all plans are 50% off for a limited time.

No more staring at the screen wondering what to write. With One Stop, you can…

Our affordable plans fit your needs:

If you’d like to poke around the site first, sign up for our free trial.

But if you decide we’ll make a good team, act fast and grab the 50% off code. This unicorn of a deal ends December 2nd.

Are you a current One Stop for Writers subscriber? This code can be used by you, too! Just visit the My Subscription page to activate this code and the discount will be applied to your next invoice.

Looking for more Black Friday Deals for Writers?

We’ve got you covered there, too. Here’s a list.

We hope these discounts make it easier to reinvest in your career, and maybe pick up a gift or two for your writing partners!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Smokin’ Hot Black Friday Deals for Writers

Black Friday is coming, along with the crazy terrific deals and big box store mayhem. I don’t know about you, but I am all about sipping my coffee and enjoying online discounts rather than fighting insane crowds!

I love to give & receive gifts that support writers. Maybe you do too, so I’ve put together a pretty amazing list of discounted goodies.

(FYI, there’s an affiliate link or two below. They help keep the lights on around here.)

Deals On Right Now:

This is the UNICORN of discounts. One Stop for Writers is the most powerful tool you can put into your writer’s kit. Not only do you get access to our hyper-intelligent Character Builder & Character Arc Blueprint, you’ll also be able to draw ideas from the largest description database available anywhere. (And that’s only two tools at One Stop for Writers. In fact, the most common thing we hear from members is “How did I ever write without One Stop before?”)

You won’t find resources like this anywhere else, so scoop this deal before it disappears. Visit One Stop, put the code BLACKFRIDAY in the coupon code box, and then select your plan.

Well-Storied is one of my favorite blogs and Kristen Keiffer wants you to stop settling for so-so stories. Instead, get the step-by-step guidance you need to craft truly spectacular novels with Well-Storied’s writing workbooks. Use the code BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout.

Looking to publish on IngramSpark®? Use Promo Code NANO2020 (before March 31, 2020), for free title upload on a print book, ebook, or both!

Learn from an editor who knows her stuff! This in-depth course is aimed to teach fiction writers how to become emotional masters in showing and evoking emotion. Just follow the link!

A beautiful, secure writing interface with everything you need to organise, write and edit your novel – wherever you are. The distraction-free interface will help you be more productive than ever. Use the code BLACKFRIDAY at the payment stage.

Editing a manuscript is a big undertaking, both intellectually and emotionally. Being thorough can be difficult and time-consuming, but the creative story editing process always pays off. Fictionary helps you evaluate and revise your manuscript at the structure level. Use BLACKFRIDAY19 at the checkout.

BookBaby is a book printing company utilizing the world’s best book printing and binding equipment. While every individual book project is different, the results are always the same: eye-popping colors, crisp and even ink coverage, quality paper stocks, sturdy, tight book binding, all carefully packaged and delivered to your door. Use code 100OFFBOOK at checkout, or when making an order by phone.

Looking to bust through writer’s block or build your non-fiction writing skillset? Have a peek at some of these courses and use the code BLACKFRIDAY11 at the checkout.

Editing costs money…a lot of it if we aren’t careful about work shopping our novels carefully and diligently strengthening our prose as much as possible. ProWritingAid is like a grammar guru, style editor and writing mentor in one package, and it can drastically reduce your costs as you ready a novel for publication.

Have you thought about how to build your author’s platform? This course and bundle offers the tools you need to set yourself up for success. Launch and sell your book well by adopting a strategy to grow your platform as an author.

The Novel Factory helps writers become more productive and achieve their writing goals, containing tools, templates, development questionnaires for your characters, prompts, and more.

Create professional looking ads and images for social media featuring your book covers. Just use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2019 for Free Premium Add-ons for Life along with a 10% Lifetime discount on the Plus Plan to create unlimited images.

Browse through this selection of software for writers and use BLACK2019 at the checkout.

Get a year’s access to the audited versions of David Farland’s online writing courses, seminars and books for a huge discount

Struggle to find the right words? MasterWriter gives you Word Families, Phrases, Synonyms, Pop Culture, Rhymes, Definitions, a searchable Bible and Figures of Speech (Metaphors, Similes, Onomatopoeia, Idioms, Oxymorons, Allusions and Intensifiers) to find what you need.

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Conflict Thesaurus Entry: Being Forced to Marry

Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Being Forced to Marry

Category: Power struggles, increased pressure and ticking clocks, relationship friction, duty and responsibilities, losing an advantage, loss of control

An arranged marriage where one or both parties do not consent
A strategic match (for pedigree, wealth, power, politics)
Because of an unplanned pregnancy
For protection
Under threat of violence (often in a conflict zone, being captured, kidnapped, trafficked, etc.)
At the direction of religious leaders
At the direction of a ruler or community leader

Minor Complications:
In a situation like this, there really are no minor complications, but there are immediate complications and then ongoing or escalated complications. Immediate ones might be:
Having to move
Having to give up certain interests, past times, and recreational activities
Having to leave home or one’s comfort zone
Being forced to sever relationships (either through distance, pressure to no longer be in touch with certain people, or under threat of violence)
Losing the freedom to make independent choices
Having to let go of other people they might have been attracted to or romantically interested in
Having to hide their true feelings
Being forced to embrace new responsibilities they may not be prepared for
Having to let go of other people they were romantically interested in
Having to hide their true feelings

Potentially Disastrous Results:
Being forced to embrace a new way of life, new beliefs, or religious practices
Living in fear of what is to come (due to a lack of control, a violence spouse, civil unrest, sexual expectations, new obligations and expectations, being in the public eye, etc.)
Depression at the direction their life has taken (especially over what was lost)
Being placed in harm’s way (due to new associations, family vendettas, etc)
Being forced to bear children
Being a witness to violence
Domestic violence, torture, slavery or other forms of abuse
Being trapped in a loveless marriage
Being trapped in a relationship with a partner who is not faithful

Possible Internal Struggles (Inner Conflict):
Being torn between what they want for themselves and what family members want or need (duty)
Choosing the good of the many over the good of the few when it means personal sacrifice
Having no good options
Struggling with uncertainty and not knowing if they made a mistake or not
Losing the battle with optimism and hope
Wondering if the sacrifice was worth it (but being cut off from those they were trying to protect, and so being unable to check in on their welfare)
Looking toward the future (or events such as the birth of a child) with trepidation but also hope
Having to cross moral lines not by choice
Wanting to run away but being responsible to people in this new life (children, others in one’s group)
Trying to safeguard loved ones (children, friends, others who have been taken) but having not power to do so
Grief over what was lost yet relief at certain things gained (safety, security, financial certainty)
Resentment toward family or others who pressured them into this fate
Being happy for others who can choose their path but also jealous and bitter as well

People Who Could Be Negatively Affected:
Family and loved ones who are in danger if the character doesn’t comply, people they are responsible for (a community, a country, a group), innocent people caught in the crossfire, people who stand against the decision (and against their new family)

Resulting Emotions: anger, anguish, anxiety, apprehension, betrayed, bitterness, conflicted, defeat, defiant, depressed, despair, desperation, determination, devastation, disappointment, disillusionment, dread, emasculated, embarrassment, envy, fear, frustration, grief, guilt, hatred, homesick, hopefulness, humiliation, insecurity, intimidated, jealousy, loneliness, longing, overwhelmed, powerlessness, regret, relief, resentment, resignation, self-loathing, self-pity, shame, tormented, uncertainty, vulnerability, wanderlust, wistful

Personality Flaws that May Make the Situation Worse: addictive, confrontational, disloyal, disrespectful, irresponsible, jealous, martyr, needy, prejudiced, pretentious, promiscuous, rebellious, reckless, resentful, self-destructive, uncommunicative, vindictive, violent, volatile, weak-willed

Positive Outcomes: 
Discovering a new purpose within a tough situation
Discovering one is resilient
Building new friendships and community in the new situation that they may never have otherwise known
Learning to embrace the situation and discovering love (possible in some situations if violence and safety is not an issue)
Being able to safeguard loved ones because of who they married (rescuing them from harm, giving them immunity, etc.)
Escaping danger, poverty, violence
Gaining new opportunities due to access to better education, opportunities, and having a stronger financial standing than before
Gaining power and prestige because of a family name and using it to give back or make life better for others

If you’re interested in other conflict options, you can find them here.

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