Welcome to the weekly mini writing workshop. The idea behind these posts is to provide simple tips and examples to help those who are trying to improve their fiction writing.
This is not a long class. We're not tackling the complex problems of novel writing. But hopefully, you'll find some useful tidbits.
This workshop session is about conflict in fiction.
Image source: Pixabay
Topic of the day: Must we fight?
I say this often because it bears repeating; without conflict you don't have a story.
Consider these two examples:
- Angela and Brian walked to the park. It was springtime, and the air smelled sweet like fresh cream with berries.
- Angela and Brian walked to the park, Pugsley between them like a miniature barrier. When Brian tripped on a crack in the walkway, Angela snorted. "If you wouldn't wear those ridiculous shoes."
As you read the second example, notice that your interest is piqued. Angela and Brian are having some sort of fight. It's human nature that we become interested. Why are they fighting? What is going to happen next? Conflict compels the reader to continue reading.
Conflict can be anything that causes an upset. Yes, it can be a fight of some kind. Or it can be a million other things that represent our struggles as human beings. For example:
- A character must decide whether to keep administering meds to her dying dog.
- A family moves to a new town, and the mother is shunned by the other families in the neighborhood because she adopted one of her children from Sri Lanka.
- A young man falls in love with his brother's girlfriend.
I read a lot of short stories, and small presses are a goldmine for intriguing flash fiction. I'll share an example of one I read today. The story appears in a back issue of Fish Food magazine, and is called "Marooned." The conflict is fairly simple: the character's girlfriend won't have sex with him. The story is well-told and compelling. This outwardly simple conflict makes him question multiple aspects of his life, and is resolved in a fascinating way.
That's it for this week's mini writing workshop!
The writing workshop collection
You can browse my entire collection of writing workshop posts in the links below.
Mini workshop series
Short posts on specific writing topics:
- Mini writing workshop: What's the point? (About making things happen)
- Mini writing workshop: What prompted that? (About writing from prompts)
- Mini writing workshop: Who said that? (Tips for writing dialog)
Mini workshops in 50-word prompt postsBrief workshops, typically 3-5 paragraphs, at the top of 50-word short story challenge posts:
- Mini writing workshop on "tense"
- Mini writing workshop on the editing process (with a walkthrough example)
- Mini writing workshop on taking time to write
- Mini writing workshop on the power of editing
- Mini writing workshop on critique
- Mini writing workshop on fixing punctuation errors
- Mini writing workshop on mainstream publishing (with a resource for 50-word story authors)
- Mini writing workshop on voice and language (as compared to the importance of plot)
- Mini writing workshop about becoming a great writer
- Mini writing workshop on contests and challenges
- Mini writing workshop on what makes a story a story
- Mini writing workshop on demystifying story writing
- Mini writing workshop on 50-word short story writing process
- Mini writing workshop on the steps for writing 50-word stories
- Mini writing workshop on micro-fiction and writing succinctly
- Mini writing workshop on the "why" of writing
- Mini writing workshop on the challenge of micro-fiction
In-depth workshop postsThe original writing workshop series:
- Writing workshop volume 1: The beginning
- Writing workshop volume 2: Exploring voice in writing
- Writing workshop volume 3: Say what you want to say
- Writing workshop volume 4: Serial fiction projects on Steemit
- Writing workshop volume 5: Getting organized and actually writing
- Writing workshop volume 6: Tips for writing anywhere, anytime
- Writing workshop volume 7: Should you write historical fiction?
- Writing workshop volume 8: Prompts, contests and challenges - oh my!
- Writing workshop volume 9: Pushing through insecurity and writing anyway
- Writing workshop volume 10: Perspective and POV in fiction writing
- Writing workshop volume 11: Second person point of view in fiction
- Writing workshop volume 12: How to write your character's background
- Writing workshop volume 13: What to do with all these voices in my head?
- Writing workshop volume 14: Write your story from a logline
- Writing workshop volume 15: Three tips for improving your fiction
- Writing workshop volume 16: How to accept criticism on your fiction writing
Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://jaynalocke.com/2018/12/30/mini-writing-workshop-must-we-fight/