As any follower of my blog can tell by now, I tend to dwell on the GOOD THINGS in life. I’m not untouched by BAD THINGS, I’m just uncomfortable talking about it. What I keep hearing is that Bad Things, aka CONFLICT, is considered an integral part of writing.
Of course, you can’t have a novel without conflict. Same for movies. The hero has to struggle, overcome, or succumb, but there is conflict. You set up the dominoes, giving each one a descriptive name, and in Chapter One you knock over the first one. Life is like that, and when Bad Things happen – the domino labeled “Conflict” falls – I often wonder where and when the first one fell. The worst dominoes are in the Deja Vu moment of my life, the movie I’ve seen before and I know how it ends. My dog escapes and the one yard he choses to dig up happens to belong to the neighbor I already have problems with. I hear the clacking sounds they make as they fall and I think the usual “oh, no, it can’t be happening again!”
Sometimes , if I’m smart enough, I can try to intercept one of them before it falls. More often than not, I sit in slack-jawed awe and watch them fall towards me, beat the crap out of me, and continue down the line. I look out the window and see the dog hauling ass to my neighbor’s yard. “Sonofabitch DID happen again!”
So let me see, El Conflicto is a permanent travel partner, and if I’m writing about life then it makes sense to at least recognize him in my writing. Damn, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Let’s see this example: I went to the park. Met a movie star. Had a nice conversation. Told her I’m interested in writing screenplays. She provided a contact, and I live happily ever after. I’m not a starving screenwriter, I’m pretty content. Now I want to share that life changing experience.
And the conflict is…????????
Need to do some more thinking about this. Discovery Moment here: easier for me to write about conflict as a subject.
Maybe I need to get a better grip on what is conflict. Get beyond conflict = The Poseidon Adventure. Try to determine in my example what bad domino tumbled the one labeled “Chance Encounter Leads to Success” ?