Conflict and the Ten Year Old

Conflict…an essential element of any story in the 21st Century. 

I know this because I’ve just come back from the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in New York City where I attended several workshops attempting to really show us the core of what conflict means.   And not just that, but how it affects almost every aspect of your writing.  If you know what you’re doing with internal conflict, then you’ll have characters the readers care about.  If you can boil the main conflict of your story down to 25 words or less, you may just have a high concept which will help you have a dazzling pitch.  A tight, fast-paced novel with no sagging middle means you know what you’re doing with external conflict and your readers will appreciate that.   Every stage from the pitch, query, synopsis, the meat of the book…if you’ve got the conflict down, then you’re on the right path. 

Pages and pages of copious notes and a few days later to soak it all up, and I’m pretty sure I have a firm understanding. 

So yesterday as I was sitting with my ten-year old son on the couch, winding down from a week in the crazy beautiful city of New York, a commercial came on for Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball.  And my son very casually said to me, “Mom, did you see how that balloon just fell in love with the cactus.  If it does that, it’s going to die.”

I put my notes away and watched Cartoon Network with my son the rest of the day. 

Have a great day everyone!