Con Lessons

Every RT I come home with some epiphany. Sometimes it’s a broad sweeping lesson I can apply to my writing in general. Sometimes I realize the conflict in my almost-finished-draft of my WIP is completely jacked and I need to make major revisions to rewrite the first twenty-three chapters. And those twenty-three chapters have taken me nearly eighteen months to write.

You can probably guess which it was this year.

My conflict is weak. It’s vague. It’s generic. It’s more of a hiccup than ‘the one thing that is stopping her from achieving her ultimate goal!’

So I sat in my hotel room in Reno and pouted.

And then I started plotting.

I had to nail down specifically – I allowed myself a sentence – what her goal is. Part of the reason the conflict was weak was that her goal was too broad. Once I defined her goal, I had to figure out the best way to stop her in her tracks. What is the one thing that she simply can’t just get passed? What can happen that will make her goal unattainable – at least right now.

Because that’s a crux of every story, right? That’s what makes us keep reading – how will they possibly move beyond this thing that has happened and blocked them from their goal? Amazing how someone can write an entire book and not realize from the start that such a major thing is wrong. Maybe the reason the book took so long to write is that the conflict and goal were weak…

Alas, I digress.

And I edit.


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