Emotional Conflict

One of the fundamental things I have learnt about writing Romance is that the Emotional conflict between the couple is the driving force to work on during story development.

To me that means character.

I spend a lot of time thinking through ideas and options, but at some point I have to sketch my new friends onto paper.

Being of a somewhat scientific bent [ okay, I can be a geek and proud of it] I have therefore spent time looking for tools and ideas to help with the process.

There are many ‘How To’ books, on the market, and I’m sure we all have our favourites – such as the comprehensive writing courses from authors such as Kate Walker and Donald Maass. These are professional writers and editors who actually earn their living crafting stories. All power and respect.

In addition, many romance writers have spent time creating notes on the writing process on their WebSites and Blogs, and I thank them for that generosity of spirit. There are far too many for me to list but they are a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to push their writing to the next level.

Here is one approach I found myself using this morning with my hero, Jared.

Created by a pro screenwriter with the same goals – how to create an emotional experience for the reader/ audience. There are also critiques on movies and TV shows.

If you go to the ‘Character map’ in the sidebar it will take you through a series of Masks, Questions and Decision points which will drive the emotional battle between his attraction for my heroine, and the blocks due to internal conflict.

This approach certainly makes me challenge myself on how I am going to throw rocks at my hero using his flaws to drive the conflict.

There is a book length masterclass on character and story creation here – and all for free.

In fact, there are so many resources like this available, it almost becomes another source of procrastination i..e I won’t start writing until I have completed my 30 page questionnnaire on where Jared went to school, did he walk there, what did he see on the way, what colour pens he used to write with. etc. etc.

Time to focus and start writing. Gulp. Now comes the heroine. Start the process all over again.