Musings Over Coffee and a Kid Home With A Cold: Conflict

So I’m still waiting for the coffee to brew and the kid is home sick with a cold. I also have 30 days to get this new book done and this is my current problem:

Yup. I have no conflict at all in my current book. No angst, no villain, no… drama.

The above screenshot is one of the reasons I like writing in Ulysses, by the way, because I can leave my comments along the way. It’s the beauty of Markdown language. As long as the text is enclosed in those plus signs ++ then the words between the opening and closing ++ are all hidden in the final product, whether it’s a mobi, epub, pdf, HTML or Word document.

It’s basically analytical me talking to creative me… like a nagging housewife. This whole book so far at 28K words is riddled with such comments before, within and after each chapter. It’s ridiculous. And its common theme is conflict: there is none between the heroine and her love interest.

I polled my readers last night about what they liked about it and the one thing all the responses had in common was that the couple reconnects after some time apart, and there are no problems between them. No conflict, they said – but they liked it because it was “different.”

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’ve always written my characters with so much angst that past readers have asked me if I hated women so much that I’d subject them to so much pain and anguish. They hated it so much they stopped reading. So now I have a couple who seem to hit it off and a part of me is looking for problems because, well, I’m a writer. If there were no problems, there’d be nothing to write about.

And they lived happily ever after.

That doesn’t quite stand on its own, does it?

11 Comments on “Musings Over Coffee and a Kid Home With A Cold: Conflict

  1. What about a job transfer that will take one of the couple across the country. Do they take the job and give up on the relationship or do they stay and risk losing their job?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michael! They start off having a one-night stand 2 days before he goes off to Asia to build schools for a nonprofit. She can’t get a hold of him and so she has the baby on her own and when he comes back, he finds out he’s a baby daddy and that’s where the story starts. I usually lay the groundwork (unconsciously) for the conflict as I write, much like a friend telling me what happened to them and I get the story little by little.

      I have 2 points for conflict – her parents’ expectations which I’ve realized today I’ve put more focus on but is more internal on her part for wanting to please them, and there’s his external conflict – the woman who ran the nonprofit that fell apart before they started in Asia. I’m definitely cutting it close with 30 days left before the deadline but I guess these characters like to live on the edge (and drive me crazy doing it lol).

      Liked by 1 person

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