Friday, July 31, 2009

Contemplating Naughty Naughty Things...

So it appears I have a voice suited to Modern Heat but I haven't yet cracked the whole character-driven-plot-emotional-conflict thing.

So... I'm contemplating ditching both the current wips and starting on a new story for the iheartpresents contest. I'm doing a 5k challenge next week with the lovely ladies I did a Bootcamp with earlier this year *waving to those of you who read this* and I'm contemplating the idea of writing something totally new!!

So far.. I've got:
*Christmas Eve
*A Maverick Self-Made Millionairre
*Santa's Little Helper
*And a broken down Voltswagon Beetle!!!

It's not much... but it's a start!
NB. I AM thinking about their conflicts too!! And I plan to make the Maverick and the Elf have LOADS of internal stuff going on!


Barbara said...


I hope you don't mind me making a suggestion . . .

I would keep the "Maverick self-Made Millionaire" on the list and nix the rest. Write the story about their (H/H) conflicts without any props, etc. added.

I know, I am not published, but this is what I learned from my pitch to an M&B editor in August.

I wanted to e-mail you and talk about it more, but I don't know how to contact you. Guess I could just write a blog post about it, huh?

Good luck!


Jackie Ashenden said...

Rach, I really like the sound of a new story but I'm with Barbara on this one. Don't make your set-up too complicated because - as I have very good reason to know - you'll end up with the plot driving the action instead of the other way round.

This isn't to say it doesn't sound like a fab set-up - it actually does. But be sure it's the emotional conflict that makes the characters do what they do and not the Beetle!

Amy said...

I'm going to go against the crowd here and state that I LOVE the broken down Beetle idea. But I firmly believe you start with the inner conflict in your story and then build outward, not the other way around. But this eventually CAN lead to a a broken down VW Beetle. (what can I say, I'm a wannabe hippie)

Here's my take on the character-plot-internal conflict beast:

Take the movie You've Got Mail. Meg Ryan's inner conflict is GUILT and FEAR, they drive every ACTION she takes (ie the PLOT). FEAR she'll lose her beloved mother's store, GUILT she's attracted to the man threatening the little bit of her mother she still has left (the store).

Internal conflict - guilt/fear
external conflict - the loss of her dead mother

The threat to her store by Fox Books is NOT a conflict, just an external FACTOR (set-up, gimmick whatever you want to call it) that triggers the internal conflict.

Now, all that guilt/fear could just have easily been directed towards a broken down Beetle as a book store, but the internal conflict comes first in your story, not the car/store.

Does that make any sense?


Rachael Johns said...

You ALL make perfect sense! Thanks Barbara and Jackie for being blunt and honest! If you wanna email me Barb, please do at!

Amy - great example of conflicts! I guess my prob at the moment is I KNOW this(haha) but can't come up with anything!! :)

Jackie Ashenden said...

Rach, you DO know this. The essential conflict in RHRT is a great example. Could working backwards be easier? Think of your setup and then before you start writing, ask those why questions.

If it's any consolation, I'm STILL getting this aspect right. Have rewritten my four WIPS at least twice to get them right. And my new idea? Guess what I've been doing??? Setup before plot - AGAIN!!! ;-)

Lacey Devlin said...

Starting over sounds like a great idea Rach! I know I feel better when I do. Everyone else has pretty much said it all about the conflict... so make those fingers burn ;)

Janette Radevski said...

I love the idea of starting something new - a fresh idea is both exciting and enthraling.
Love the idea of a self made millionaire and the broken down beetle...

I stared my presents entry last week when I should've been working on my current one, so hard to resist the temptation of something new... sometimes the grass is greener on the other side...

Joanne Cleary said...

I've already done the same thing so can't say don't -- be naughty (like me) and start a new idea. Just for the competition then you can always go back to your current wip and finish it ... knowing you have to hurry up and get it done so you can finish your new idea in case it's requested :-)

Think positive.

Lorraine said...

I'm being naughty too and working on my comp entry instead of the story I'm supposed to be sending off. Funnily my comp entry is called 'The Maverick Millionaire'. Great minds obviously think alike :-) but you'll be glad to hear I have no elves or broken down beetles in it!
Enjoy the writing anyway, whatever you work on.