Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Theory on Thursday with Maisey Yates

Today I have fellow Sassy Sister (yes, they took pity on me and asked me to join a while back) and mega-prolific Mills & Boon Presents author Maisey Yates talking the BIG C!!! CONFLICT! Something I think we NEVER stop learning about. Take it away Maisey...

Thank you for having me, Rach! I really appreciate you asking me to blog. :)

Sustainable conflict is essential to any story. If there’s no conflict, there’s very little interest. I’m not talking conflict in terms of your characters screaming and yelling at each other either. I’m talking about something deeper.

Most books have two main types of conflict. There’s external conflict, and there’s internal conflict.

External conflict stems from external forces. Example: your heroine wants to buy her father’s company, but he’s selling it to someone else. Internal conflict comes from within a character. You heroine feels like she’s not good enough, because her father has never seen her value.

One of the best ways I’ve heard it put was that external conflict forces your characters together (your heroine proposes to your hero in order to get herself into a position to buy her father’s company) and the internal conflict keeps them apart. (your hero’s fear of being hurt prevents him from admitting her loves the heroine)

I’m a big believer in internal conflict in romance novels. Without it, what you end up with, very often, is conflict that could have easily been cleared up if the two of them had sat down in a room together and just engaged in honest conversation.

Real, sustainable, deep conflict isn’t that simple. In order to solve it, your characters have to change. They have to reach a crisis point and address a world view they’ve held for years, and make a conscious decision to think and feel differently.

I did a post a long while back called the onionparfait , about how a book is layers upon layers. Layers of conflict, layers of character.

You have, especially in category romance, the external right up front. It’s the thing that pushes your characters into close proximity with each other. And then as the story progresses, that part of the conflict starts to recede into the background as the deeper conflict and theme emerges.

Conflict and character go hand in hand. Their internal conflict will affect how they act, how they relate to other people. The relationships they’ve had in the past, the relationships they have now. It will affect how they interact with the hero or heroine. It will affect how the sex plays out in the loves scenes. Conflict is a part of the character, not just something you talk about in exposition.

With characters you have layers as well. You have essence vs identity. Who they are, and who they show the world they are. Or, in some cases, who they are vs who who they THINK they are. These can be very contradictory things, and when they are, I think it makes a character more interesting, more dynamic.

In my most recent MS, A Game of Vows, the heroine, Hannah, is an extremely competent and gutsy business woman. She’s probably the most full-on heroine I’ve ever written. She doesn’t just go toe to toe with the alpha hero, she does her level best to flatten him, particularly when she begins feeling a connection to him.

That heroine, who was so intense and hard on the outside, is by far my most broken on the inside. Her image is essential, projecting strength is essential, because her wounds are so great, and exposing them would mean dealing with them.

So she has a very clear cut difference between who she is, and who she pretends to be. Getting to the heart of her conflict is a stripping away of layers.

Very much like the external/internal conflict structure in the whole MS, you start with the simple, the obvious, and move deeper into the truth as the story progresses.

The black moment happens when the conflict comes to a head. When one character is pushed further than they’re ready to go. Example: your heroine is asking for love and your hero is not ready to give it.

All along the way the characters have been changing. They’ve been confronting elements of their conflict. But this is the big break. This is where everything, all the self protection, has to fall away.

This is the moment where your character has to decide: what’s scarier? Letting go of everything they’ve put into place to protect themselves? Or losing the person they love?

That’s how I deal with internal conflict, and how I use to take my characters on a journey, and hopefully take the reader on one as well!

If you have any questions about character or conflict or...anything...please ask in the comments! 

Thanks Maisey! And yes, please DO ask questions!! Maisey is one wise and VERY knowledgeable lady :)

You can find Maisey at her website, on Twitter (LOTS) and on Facebook

Blurbs for Maisey's recent books:

The first time Maddy Forrester heard her boss’s mesmerizing voice barking orders down the phone, she knew he was a force to be reckoned with. But nothing prepared her for the sight of Aleksei Petrov. He is the last thing Maddy needs, but the first thing she wants!
Aleksei is determined not to mix business with pleasure, but he struggles with the irresistible sparks his feisty secretary ignites in him- she’s a problem he does not want.
The proposed solution? One unforgettable night to fulfill their every wicked desire.

Never been kissed.
Noelle was once the girl who had everything. Until the piano prodigy fell from grace. Destitute and desperate, she’s forced to accept billionaire Ethan Grey’s convenient proposal.
Ethan wants revenge – all he needs is Noelle’s signature on the marriage certificate. Yet his carefully composed façade cracks in the face of her innocent attempts at seduction.
Noelle’s only ever felt love and excitement whilst at her beloved piano – yet now her traitorous body craves the white-hot passion ignited by Ethan’s skilled touch. But will he ever see her as more than a means to an end?


Suzanne Brandyn said...

Oh I love that cover, Girl on a Diamond pedestal. Love the title also. I can see it being a success.
I have never really close to a Harlequin novel. Perhaps one day I may give it a go again.
I admire those published by them though.
Best of Luck,
Suzanne :)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

lol I meant to say. Never really gotten close to having a Harlequin Novel published. Oh then again, I've received some good feedback of where I went wrong.

Coleen Kwan said...

Onion parfait! Someone's watched Shrek. Thanks for summarising conflict into one succinct post that I can remember while I'm writing.

Maisey said...

Thanks Susan! I love this cover too. I think it's gorgeous! And that's how they'll be doing the Sexys in Aus from now on. :D Keep submitting!

Coleen...yes, I admit, there has been some Shrek. I'm pleased you found the post helpful!

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks for stopping by Maisey! I love how your conflicts are all quite simple yet really drive the story forward. Great post :)

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

Rachael and Maisey - super post! So helpful. Thank you.

I too love that red dress/piano cover. It came out in India too. Got my copy today.

Joanne Dannon said...

Thanks for a really good and interesting post Maisey. It's particularly helpful as I'm currently plotting the conflict in my current ms.

BTW - love the cover of "Diamond" :)

Maisey said...

Rach, thank you, dear!!

Maria, hooray for it being in India! How exciting! I adore the red dress.

Joanne, *shakes fist at conflict* Ah...conflict! And thanks, I love it too!

beck nicholas said...

Great theory on Thurs and wonderful covers. lots to think about there!

Anonymous said...

This paragraph will assist the internet visitors for
building up new blog or even a blog from start to end.
Here is my web site - how to lose weight fast

Anonymous said...

I take pleasure in, lead to I discovered just what I was
looking for. You've ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

Feel free to visit my webpage World Of Tanks Hack
Also see my site :: World Of Tanks Hack

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my
blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

With thanks

Feel free to surf to my blog post :: How To Lose Belly Fat

Anonymous said...

We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with useful info to work on. You have done an impressive task and our entire neighborhood will be thankful to you.

Here is my web blog: World Of Tanks Hack

Anonymous said...

Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one!
It's on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

Also visit my page World Of Tanks Hack

Anonymous said...

There is definately a great deal to know about this issue.

I really like all of the points you made.

Also visit my homepage; Tattoo Removal cream reviews

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

Also visit my webpage - diarrhea Remedies

Anonymous said...

Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What host are you using?
Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as
fast as yours lol

Review my website :: permanent hair straightening

Anonymous said...

Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why but I think its
a linking issue. I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

My web-site :: Refinishing Hardwood floors

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks
would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you
got your theme. Thanks a lot

Here is my site ... coconut oil for hair

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in
our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on.
You've done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

My blog post download 7zip

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care!
Exactly where are your contact details though?

Have a look at my blog -

Anonymous said...

Hello, yes this paragraph is really good and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.


Also visit my page; Unknown

Anonymous said...

This is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
Brief but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing
this one. A must read article!

Also visit my web page - Http://

Anonymous said...

Great article, exactly what I wanted to find.

My web-site - Unknown

Anonymous said...

Someone essentially help to make significantly posts I might state.
This is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now?
I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular put up amazing.
Great process!

Feel free to visit my webpage Unknown

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog! Do you have any recommendations
for aspiring writers? I'm planning to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform
like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I'm totally confused .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!

Here is my web site Unknown

Anonymous said...

I read this post fully about the resemblance of most recent and previous technologies, it's awesome article.

Feel free to visit my website; Www.Diaperrashhomeremedies.Com

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the
pictures on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

Also visit my page: Unknown

Anonymous said...

You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites on the net.
I will recommend this web site!

Here is my website: Unknown

Anonymous said...

Useful info. Fortunate me I found your site accidentally,
and I'm surprised why this twist of fate did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

Also visit my site - Unknown

Anonymous said...

Hi fantastic website! Does running a blog like this
take a large amount of work? I have very little understanding of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog soon.

Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or
tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject but I simply had
to ask. Cheers!

Take a look at my web blog - Http://Ismaelzpdoric.Healthkicker.Com/772719337/Tattoo-Removal-Cream/

Anonymous said...

I am sure this post has touched all the internet users, its really really
nice paragraph on building up new weblog.

My page - Unknown

Anonymous said...

Do you have any video of that? I'd love to find out some additional information.

my web page Unknown

Anonymous said...

Wow, this piece of writing is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things,
therefore I am going to tell her.

Also visit my website: Http://

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
Your website provided us with valuable information to work on.
You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be
grateful to you.

Here is my weblog :: Unknown

Anonymous said...

I think this is among the most significant information for me.
And i'm glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

Feel free to surf to my homepage - Bestcoconutoilforhair.Com

Anonymous said...

My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on
numerous websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
I have heard great things about
Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
Any help would be really appreciated!

Here is my website: ps3 Jailbreak Tutorial

Anonymous said...

I'm really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

My blog post :: diarrhea remedies

Anonymous said...

whoah this weblog is fantastic i love reading your articles.
Keep up the great work! You already know, many
persons are looking around for this information,
you could aid them greatly.

Also visit my homepage; Unknown

Anonymous said...

We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your web site provided us with useful information to work on.
You have done an impressive job and our entire community might be thankful to you.

Also visit my weblog; Unknown

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but
other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read.
I will certainly be back.

My blog post: The Interlace

Anonymous said...

Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website,
how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

Here is my homepage; candy crush saga hack

Anonymous said...

Awesome site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any user discussion
forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
I'd really love to be a part of online community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!

my website: Www.Youtube.Com

Anonymous said...

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful info to work on. You have performed an impressive activity and our entire community will likely be grateful to you.

My weblog; Microsoft Office Gratuit

Anonymous said...

Hey! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's
new to me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking and
checking back frequently!

My webpage; league Of Legends hack

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your
great information you have right here on this post.
I'll be coming back to your blog for more soon.

my website ... Psn Code Generator

Anonymous said...

I am really loving the theme/design of your website.
Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
A few of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
in Opera. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

Have a look at my page - Generateur de Code PSN

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is important and everything.
However think about if you added some great photos or video
clips to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could certainly be one of the best in its field.
Wonderful blog!

Here is my blog; psn Code generator

Anonymous said...

Right here is the right website for everyone who wants to understand this topic.
You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I
actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin
on a topic which has been written about for a long time.

Wonderful stuff, just great!

my blog post :: Psn Code Generator

Anonymous said...

What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge regarding unpredicted feelings.

Also visit my webpage :: World Of Tanks Hack

Anonymous said...

I don't even know the way I ended up right here, but I thought this post was once great. I don't
know who you might be but definitely you're going to a well-known blogger if you happen to aren't already.

My webpage: Minecraft Gift Code Generator

Anonymous said...

I am really impressed with your writing skills as well
as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
it's rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

Here is my web-site :: Minecraft Gift Code Generator ()

Anonymous said...

hello!,I really like your writing very so much!
percentage we communicate more approximately your post on AOL?

I need a specialist in this house to resolve my problem.

Maybe that's you! Looking forward to see you.

Also visit my homepage; ps3 game jailbreak

Anonymous said...

What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how on
the topic of unexpected feelings.

Here is my site; Minecraft Crack (

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this web site, and piece of writing is actually fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these content.

Feel free to surf to my weblog - Ps3 Jailbreak (