Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Genre Writing Tuesday - Romantic Conflict

I write the Romance/Love Newsletter for Writing.com and I wanted to share this bit about romantic conflict, especially for new writers, just starting to "hone" their craft.

Conflict must have layers. It's not satisifying if the hero and heroine and tackling a problem and getting along great. They have a problem to solve together, but no conflict.

So what is conflict? Honest to goodness meaty romantic conflict?

It's not:
Fighting or aruging - this is superfiscal.
Let's face it, fighting is not romantic.

A delay - where's the conflict in a delay?
A failure to communicate - your heo and heroine must be able to make a decision. They must know what they want.
Another person meddling - if this is the cause of the conflict, then hero/heroine might appear too passive to take charge of their lives.

ULITMATELY, confict centerrs around the type of character the hero and heroine are.

Short Term Conflict
This is the problem that brings your hero and heroine together.

Long Term Conflict
This conflict challenges them to find happiness.

Short term conflict is an external problem that usually oepns up the romance in your story. The long term conflict is the interal conflict that the characters have - lack of trust for example, or a painful past. This is the conflict the hero and heroine have to overcome to come together as a couple.

Trust issues, a fear of rejection, these are examples of the "meat and potatoes" of romantic conflict.

Once you get past the short term conflict, you need to explore the long term conflict. Then you ca draw out the deep emotions in your characters.

Mastering conflict can be challenging, but very rewarding in the end.


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