Monday, January 30, 2012


In a few months I'll be giving two workshops on conflict.
April 2012 for the STAR chapter. Go to:

The second is CONFLICT AND THE CATGORY ROMANCE in May for Savvy Authors. (I think you have to go to for that one)

Anyway, why two workshops? Is there that much to know about conflict? Is the conflict of a category romance that different from a single title...

Are there different kinds of conflict?

Well, yeah. To all three questions.

LET CONFLICT TELL YOUR STORY FOR YOU is sort of self-explanatory. There are ways to let the conflict of your story push the story along. In fact, that's actually one of conflict's [main] jobs! LOL

But I was amazed at how much I had to talk about for CONFLICT AND THE CATEGORY ROMANCE.

For instance, Category Romance readers LOVE banter. If your banter springs from the hero and heroine just being snippy with one another or just being silly, it can work...but if it springs from serves the double duty of tickling readers and pushing the story forward.

Category Romance readers also love those "moments" in a story when the hero and heroine almost kiss, or almost make love, or accidentally touch...when everything is breathless and the action comes to a halt as they sort of stare at each other, or gaze into each other's eyes, both trying to make the decision...Should we do this? Then or both of them remembers their conflict [internal or external] and they step away. But the groundwork has been laid. Readers know the temptation is getting out of control. But conflict stopped them.

That's another great job of conflict in a category romance. Attraction tempts them to take steps, to step close, to touch, to almost kiss and then ultimately to kiss...but conflict pops into their heads and they think...he's not right for me [for whatever external reason you've created] or I'm not ready for this or don't want this [for whatever internal reason you've created] and they step away. But again, those seeds of the "rightness" of this hero and heroine being together have been planted. And readers know the next time they take a step they might not walk away so easily.

Readers also see that push pull that happens sometimes in real life, when you want something so badly you can taste it...but you stop yourself FOR DAMNED GOOD REASONS. Not because you're strong. Not because you like to deprive yourself. But for DAMNED GOOD REASONS. Those reasons your characters pull away are based on conflict.

Anyway, I could talk about this forever. (Obviously! I got two whole workshops out of one topic. For over 100 pages I went on about conflict! LOL)

But we're out of time here. I have two deadlines looming, so I'm off.

But think about the things I said above about conflict.

Is conflict driving your story? Your Characters?
Does conflict pop up when it's needed to stop your characters from doing things they aren't ready for or believe they don't want?
Does your conflict enhance the interpersonal relationships of your hero and heroine?

Lots of stuff to ponder on a Monday morning!

Happy Monday.



kris said...

Susan, I would LOVE to sign up for the Conflict & Category Romance workshop, but I don't see it listed anywhere on the Savvy Authors site. (Your June one is listed). Could it be that it's full already?

Sorry to trouble you about this. Thanks for any insight you might have!

Susan said...

Hi, Kris. It is May at Savvy Authors. They were waiting for my blurb and bio to post it!

Should be up any day!

Thanks for noticing this so I could fix it. :O


Sonia G Medeiros said...

Nice, juicy conflict definitely makes a story more interesting. I love your workshops!

Susan said...


I'm thinking we should talk about conflict again next week since from the ## of hits, it seems to be a topic of interest to a lot of writers!


Sonia G Medeiros said...

Agreed. I think conflict can be scary sometimes. We usually want to avoid it in real life. Sometimes it's tricky to put it in a story.

kris said...

Oh, awesome - I'll keep checking in. Thanks so much!

Cora Zane said...

I'm registered for your Conflict & the Category Romance workshop in May. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks so much for all the helpful tips you have posted on your website and blog.

Susan said...

I think you'll enjoy it, Cora! I actually had fun writing it.