Like watching a train wreck…

Ever have one of those days when you look back and think… “Nope, that wasn’t the plan…”  ??

Yeah, well, yesterday was one of those for me.   And why this is going to be short, today.  But it got me thinking…as much as I hate that in real life, it’s what I look for in books.  I mean, who wants to read something where everything goes easy and all is hunky dory?  How boring, right?

We want conflict…we want drama…we want everything to fall apart and for the characters to lose hope temporarily, so that there is somewhere for them to go.  Personally, it’s hard for me to give my characters conflict, because I want them to be happy, but I know I have to throw boulders at them for them to grow.

So what are some of your favorite story conflicts in books you’ve read?  Share some of your favorite scenes!

One of mine is an oldie.  In IF TOMORROW COMES by Sidney Sheldon (1985) the mc is framed and in one morning an ordinary happy newly engaged woman, is sent to prison and ends up learning a life of grifting and thievery to fight back against the people who framed her.


About Sharla Lovelace

Writer of romantic women's fiction. Wife, mom, and wonderwoman...without the boobs. National Bestselling Author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Lover of anything red.

Posted on October 26, 2011, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. i love this blog……..i am an aspiring writer too and i would love to know if my casual writing is up to the mark………follow me and i will follow back!

  2. Great point!
    The best novels are the ones that I care about the characters so much that I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. So I’m secretly hoping there is no conflict despite the fact the conflict is probably what is making them interesting 🙂

  3. I completely hear you, Sharla. Part of what conflicts ME is the fact that in my first book I wrote conflict and in the end did not resolve it. It had no HEA and the editor said it wouldn’t sell. So, it’s actually the opposite of what you’re saying. I didn’t want it to be fixed because often in life it just isn’t. But I changed the ending. It wasn’t what I wanted and I guess America doesn’t want that either? I don’t know about.

  4. There are so many scenes, how to choose? First one I thought of was Pretty Woman – her telling her friend by the pool (“I was afraid I’d wrinkle you!”) that she’s not in love with Richard Gere.

    Yeah, like anybody could believe THAT!

  5. Great question! One of my all time favorites was in a mystery written years ago–I think it was called First Lady. Anyway, the then Soviet Union switched the First Lady with her double who, of course, gets a conscience and can’t carry out her mission, while the other is trying to escape. In the end, you know that one has to die so the other could survive, but you want them both to live! I’m going to have to go search Amazon for it to remember which one dies! 🙂

  6. Barbara Samuel’s Lady Luck’s Map Of Vegas is one of my favorite books and there’s multiple layers of conflicts in the book. But the conflict between the heroine and her mother is outstanding, so well done it makes my heart ache. Fortunately, there is a happily ever after ending, which I love. 🙂

  7. I used to hate to write conflict because I hate it so much in my life. Now it is fun to think of obstacles for my characters. The challenging part for me, since I hate it when things are too outlandish, is to come up with believable conflict.

    Great post and hope you’re having a better day today 🙂

  8. Sharla, my prime passion is the mystery. It doesn’t matter if I know the bad guy might get caught in the end (although with some great series the main bad guy illudes capture for four of five books) … Tension, conflict, red herrings are wonderful. I love romantic suspense and paranormal because I know going in, I’ll be riveted to twists and turns. It’s the difference between the merry-go-round and the roller coaster. Hope you have a better day tomorrow 🙂

  9. I always did like Sydney Sheldon. But these days, I read a mix of women’s fiction, romance and mystery with the emotional conflict of women’s fiction the most interesting.

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