Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lesson Three: Inner Conflict

Sorry I was MIA last week . . . which happens to be the title of my March release. Watch was MIA: MISSING IN ATLANTA in your favorite bookstores on March 11th. That's book #3 for me. I completed book four today. You probably heard me scream with joy when I delivered it to the UPS lady. It's on the way to New York. Hallelujah! COUNTDOWN TO DEATH will be out in October and launches my new Magnolia Medical series.

Okay, now back to Donald Maass. When I was reading this lesson on inner conflict, I had to keep remembering that he's helping us move our work into a higher level. His focus is on the breakout novel, which has to wow! the editors and stand out from the crowd big time! But his strategies also help when we're writing category romance or Love Inspired Suspense, and this section gave me a lot of food for thought.

Boiling it all down, Maass says to create characters that have two opposing desires, which are mutually exclusive. So . . . the heroine wants to have a home and family and security, yet she also wants to be a free spirit who backpacks through Europe, living on $25 a day with no ties, no constraints, no responsibility. And maybe that example isn't the best, but you get the idea. If our characters have that inner tension because they can't have both opposing desires, they become compelling folks readers will remember.

Ah, Mr. Maass, you're going to make us work hard this next week to create heroes and heroines that are multi-faceted and unforgettable. One thing I learned on book four, the more "stuff" the character has to deal with, the more fun to write and hopefully the more interesting to read. So Maass is giving us a way to ensure we have enough fuel to light a fire under our characters and move them forward as they tackle the challenges we present to them.

Hey, being a writer is a great life . . . especially when the current work in progress is finished.

Have a productive week! Let's all focus on our inner conflict.

Wishing you abundant blessings!

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