Over on Writers Helping Writers, Julie Musil wrote about one way to Boost Story Conflict. Finding those flaws for the heroes can be difficult some times, and I’ll admit I don’t always look at the flip side of the positive traits being a flaw.
Then, Ava Jae writes about using the synopsis as a plotting tool. I’ve done this. Lately I’ve just been doing a shorter summary. But, I used to use the snowflake method and took one sentence and expanded that into a paragraph then into a page. Sometimes even longer, although the page was usually good enough. I’m thinking of going back to this.
Leigh Ann Kopans wrote about defining “Clean YA” and the problems with this. Now, I don’t write YA. I pretty much stick with Adult. Although my Kurztown series is kind of on the edge of NA. And what I write would certainly not be considered “clean”. Out of her list of what “clean” YA contains, there’s really only 1 item that hasn’t shown up in at least one of my stories. This is what really struck me though:
Almost universally, “clean” is something good, something desirable, something we strive for. “Dirty” is something bad, something shameful, something we’re supposed to work hard to stay away from. It is contemptible, hateful, vile, a cause for disassociation with someone.
This is something that does show up in Flames of Retribution, in a couple of different ways. Not that the characters think they are “dirty”. But, more that they’ve heard it before and are afraid that the people they care about will think it too. And this is as adults. Think about how confusing and damaging it would be as teens to “know” your desires are “dirty”.
And Kristen Lamb wrote about How to Intensify Conflict & Deepen Characters. She talks about the character’s wound. Everyone has one(or more). They don’t always have to be big gaping gory wounds. Sometimes it’s the smaller ones that pack the bigger punch. But, there has to be something that drives the character to find that thing they need. I’ve given my characters both. In my current WiP, Mark has quite the tragic past. But, Caitie, doesn’t. She grew up in a nice family with little tragedy. She always knew she was loved, whereas Mark didn’t. But, she has her own wounds too, even if they aren’t as deep as his.
Have you read any good/thought-provoking posts lately?