Saturday, May 08, 2010


Well, I just put the finishing touches tonight on a short story I've had kicking around for a while. As I read it one last time, something kept bothering me, but I couldn't put my finger on it at first. The writing was clean. The dialogue was cute. The characters were fairly engaging. I smiled in parts... but... but... still, somehow... overall it was BORING.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what should have been blazingly obvious from the start: there was NO conflict. None, whatsoever. Attractive girl and attractive guy meet and are attracted to each other. They hook up. The end.

Gaack!!!!!!!! How did I miss that while writing and editing almost 7000 words? Now, do I go back and torture them? Throw in a time bomb and a runaway freight train? Give one of them amnesia or sudden desire for a sex change operation?

Now *I* have conflict. It's a Christmas story, so I have plenty of time to revise it. Yet part of me just wants to leave it as is and forget about it. I'm tired of looking at it. I could also just put it up on Smashwords as a free download. Yet... that's probably not the best idea if I'm trying to build readership. The other option is to forget it completely and pretend it never existed.


I'm also in the middle of trying to pack up my place to be ready to move by the end of next month, which means I really have to be ready by the end of this month, since I have to give my landlady notice and she'll want to bring people through. I really don't have time to worry about a story with no conflict. I have enough conflict of my own, right? Because I've also been in the process of interviewing for a job in Maine, and they're pretty interested in me right now. And moving across country (again!) is a huge undertaking.

Regardless of where I end up, I still have to move out of my current place so I can afford to pay college tuition for my daughter. And maybe one thing that would help with that tuition might be selling more books... hmm.... I think I see two tortured heroes coming up.

How are you doing? Any editing woes or victories to report?


  1. They meet, they hook up (and isn't that just such a useful word!)and then...and then...?

    Well, you could put them in your situation: One of them is moving and hasn't told the other.

    Now the ending is a whole 'nother thing, but it happens all the time in "real life," and the real people figure it out, some with more drama than others. Those people will tell you how it ends.

  2. One of them is a vampire? The other is a vampire fighter? LOL

    My book had a mushy middle, and I realized I didn't have enough tension, so I sympathize with you. Since I'd written 86K words, I decided to add a new conflict. If I'd only written 7K, I might put it aside and start something new.

    Good luck with the new job! Moving to Maine sounds exciting.

  3. Well, I guess you could put it away and not think on it until after you finish relocating. Then pull it back out and see what happens.

    Best of luck with the move!

  4. I kind of like putting my characters through hell so I think I usually have enough conflict. Other things trouble me.

  5. I so feel your pain. I struggle with conflict in my books all the *#&$ time. In life? Not so much. Can we help it if we just want our stories to be happy places? LOL

    Good luck...with the story, the move and the job!

  6. My sympathies. I've been conflicted for a while now about what to paint next. No answer even appears on the distant horizon. Fortunately I've been able to ignore it by getting out in the nice weather for photography, but now it's getting too hot to get out...the time of painting is I still have no ideas.
    My sympathies on the moving, too. I wish we had Star Trek like transporters. Moving just blows.
    On the plus side, I recently learned that I'm a finalist in a pretty prestigious photography contest. THAT was nice to hear!

  7. Yay! East Coast Kate! Although, I'm with Lana on the moving--transporters are definitely needed.

    I'd say shelve the story if you can't figure out a conflict. Don't go posting something that's not your best.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for your comments & suggestions. They've been helpful.

    I've been down sick for over a week now and haven't felt like getting online or doing much of anything. Hopefully will be back at it soon.

  9. hehehe sometimes we like stories without conflict -- or wait, maybe that's just in real life?

    best of luck with everything :D

  10. Thanks for stopping by, Taherah - and good luck to you, too1 :)

  11. Boy, going back and putting in conflict is a lot more work than it sounds like! I've had to do it a few times (I snoozed while I was writing the storyline), and crap it is a full coffee pot/ Excedrin experience.

    I hopoe your re-write goes much better!


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