And I don't mean General Motors.
Good old Goals, Motivation and Conflict. How I've scoffed at them, disdained their relevance, pshawed the very idea. How they've come back to bite me in the butt.
I mentioned a dream I had last night in a reply to Sidney from my previous post. Before I went to bed, I'd been wondering what to do about a WIP, how to fix the fact that it seemed a little dull. I proceeded to have a dream where one of the main characters spoke to me. Although he spoke about himself and the heroine in third person, his advice was "Send them on a quest."
He told me they needed to do something. Search for something. He said even if I just sent them to the grocery store, they needed to be looking for something.
I woke up and realized "he" was right. They weren't doing anything--mainly sitting around thinking about each other. Their motivations weren't clear, their goals nebulous at best. Conflict--not so much. Sure, there was some, but none of it was earth shattering. There wasn't much action or growth.
Who knew these things were important to a good story? :P
Sigh... now I have to go back and figure out what these people really want, why they want it, and how they might try to get it. Maybe even throw in a roadblock or two. And I here had a hard enough time just giving them names...
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, C.S. Harris has a great blog about "punching up" paragraphs. Well worth the read. (Of course, her blogs always are.)