Monday, January 28, 2013

Causing Conflict

As writer’s we hear pretty much from day one that our stories must have strong conflict. The better the conflict the more engaging the story will be, and so on.

I read a thought provoking post a few days ago in a newsletter I received from Holly Lisle about pissing people off. Many of you are probably familiar with her, if not, you are missing out.

It was about conflict, and it really made me stop and think about my writing. I didn't quote it here because I'm guessing she wouldn't appreciate me spouting something she sent in a newsletter. That being said, we all still need conflict. Don't we?

Having great conflict in your story is one thing, but what about creating conflict with your story. Are you willing to go that far?

We all have things we believe in or don’t. Sometimes passionately. Usually there are as many people who believe the same things you do, as there are people who believe just the opposite and swear you’re the fool.

This is a new avenue for me, because I've always very carefully avoided expressing my opinions about certain issues. And I still believe people aren't that interested in what I think personally. BUT. That being said, if you felt passionately about something, and you let a little of that show through in your story, wouldn't it rock? Or would you rather not alienate anyone and take the safer route.

This is one of those times where I'm not sure there's a right or wrong answer. Would you dare to let this show through in your stories? Are you afraid of the conflict, or do you invite it?


  1. The squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say, whether it ticks people off or not. Having strong convictions takes great bravery if they are contrary to public opinion, but everyone needs to take a stand once in a while. The problem, of course, is what might be lost in the outcome at the expense of what might be gained. I do think as writers we tend to let our passions show through in our stories, otherwise why write them? I can't say I invite conflict with my subject matter, but if it were an inherent part of the story and what needed to happen to tell it, even if it wasn't popular, yeah, I'd go there :)

    1. That's awesome, Kate. It really made me stop and think, would I? Yeah, I would too.

      It actually reminded me of one of our mutual author friends who wrote a story about infidelity a while back, and although it wasn't welcomed so well by one group, it's been embraced by others. She's very brave, in my opinion. And a great writer. :)

    2. I whole heartedly agree. She's very talented, very brave and an inspiration to stay true to the heart of a story even if it's not the popular thing to do at the time. But let's not forget, you are a very brave and talented writer too. Birds of a feather or is it peas in a pod? Either way, I admire you both :)

      (but not in a creepy stalker kind of way, lol)


    3. Awww. *blush* Thank you, Kate.

  2. :) You girls rock. Infinitely.

    I think...sometimes fiction is a good way to show the "other side" of a story. Once you feel like you "know" a character, it's easier to relate to her POV. At least, in my opinion. There's a fine line between having the character help a cause and having the character preach on behalf of a cause. I've seen reviewers pan books where they felt the author was pushing her own agenda.

    Then again, who the hell else's agenda would she push? LOL