Hilary Smith - author of the upcoming YA novel Wild Awake, and formerly of the once-anonymous blog Intern Spills - recently posted on a curiosity she has noticed about recent manuscripts and the way that writers recognise the necessity for conflict in their novels, but how sometimes even when the story is crammed full of conflict there’s still a surprising lack of tension.
She’s given us a handy metaphor so troubleshooting in your own ms is easy:
It turns out these writers had misplaced their conflict in various ways. It’s like keeping gasoline in the trunk of your car instead of putting it in the tank. Sure, you have gas, but it’s not doing you any good. Gas is only useful if it’s in the tank—and conflict sort of works the same way.Here are some of the weird places writers mistakenly stash their story’s fuel.1. Conflict pertains to every character EXCEPT the main character2. Conflict is MC’s, but does not relate to overall story goal3. Backstory wound does not relate to story present4. Conflict fails to escalate or develop5. New conflicts are piled on instead of developing existing ones
Click on through to read in more detail. It’s definitely worth your while!