Hi All! Audra here and I've got a surprise for you at the end of this post!
You know how the old adage goes -- You Never Stop Learning? Well, I'm a prime example of a work-in-progress. You'd think after ALL the years I've read books, studied the craft, attended workshops and conferences, I'd have this whole writing thing down pat.
There are so many areas in my writing repetoire that can stand improvement, and writing conflict is the among the biggest. I'm a romance writer at heart and really, I hate seeing anything stand between the hero and heroine, and happily ever after. Of course, that doesn't really leave much room to enfold the reader in a story not soon forgotten, does it? You'd think I'd have gotten past this little problem ages ago.
Nope. It haunts me still. (Happy Halloween, everyone!)
Now remember, I'm a big one for taking workshops. The advent of online courses has allowed me to pursue the selection of wonderful workshops offered for the month either through RWA or ACFW or word of mouth. Personally, I love the word of mouth scenario because if someone I like or admire cares enough to endorse a class by sharing their enthusiasm over it, well, how much better press can you get?
I'm really excited to share this class on Conflict I took in September given by Cheryl St. John. She is a master of her trade and the workshop she's developed had even me understanding the basics of good, solid, organic conflict. You've heard writers say conflict needs to be character driven so as not to appear contrived, right? Well, I'd heard it, too. But not until I took Cheryl's workshop, did I really understand how to reach inside the character and explored all their conflicted regions, LOL!
|Debby Giusti, Ruth Logan Herne, Audra Harders, |
Cheryl St. John and Sherri Shackelford
Have a great week everyone!
CONFLICT MAKES THE STORY
DATES: NOVEMBER 1 – 30, 2011
INSTRUCTOR: CHERYL ST.JOHN
REDUCED ENROLLMENT FEE: $20.
(a savings of $10.)
REGISTRATION VIA PAYPAL: http://cheryl-stjohn-workshop.blogspot.com/
REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
Only a little over two months left of 2011! Did you accomplish everything you wanted to over the year? Writing improvement challenges? A new story proposal? A finished project? Here’s an opportunity to sharpen your skills and be prepared for those new goals, which are right around the corner.
No matter what writing topic Cheryl addresses, she hangs the most importance on characters. Conflict is drawn from characters. It’s based on their goals, their backstory and their motivation. It is opposing forces that come from within the characters themselves.
Webster’s Dictionary defines conflict as “the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction.” This definition is the essence of fiction, and we need to keep it in mind as we develop characters and plots. If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.
Conflict, of course, can be either light or heavy. In a humorous story, the problem may not be life threatening, but it still must be important to the characters. The characters’ motivations must be equally important to them. In suspense, the conflict is often life-threatening. All well-developed plots stem from creative use of conflict, and conflict is what keeps the reader turning pages.
In order to understand conflict and how to develop it, we must first understand what conflict is, what conflict is not, and what conflict can be. The elements that make up a story are so closely meshed that at times it becomes difficult to dissect and make a firm delineation between them. In a masterfully developed story, characterization, plotting, and conflict are all intricately entwined.
Cheryl will explain opposing goals and how to create conflict that will sustain a story. She’ll give practical advice on:
Creating characters with built-in conflict
Revealing emotion through conflict
Internal and external conflict
Simple and complex conflict
Among her achievements, which include forty published books in both contemporary and historical genres, Cheryl St.John has received multiple Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and four RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker.
The class will be conducted via subscription to a private yahoogroup, two lessons per week, followed by questions and answers. Brief exercises pertaining to the participant’s current work in progress may be included. Archived class will be available for one week after the ending date.
I believe so much in this workshop that when you leave a comment and your email address, I'll pay for one (1) lucky commentor's class fee! I'd love to leave the opportunity open for the week, but since the class starts Tuesday, I'll draw the name Monday night and announce the winner Tuesday morning.
Audra Harders writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring cowboys who haven't a clue about relationships rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she's married to her own patient hero, has two teenagers about the leave the nest, and is surrounded by everything conducive to writing about farming, ranching and cowboys at her day job in the county Extension office. She began writing right after her son was born and sold her first book to Steeple Hill Love Inspired mere months before that same son graduated from high school. Surviving those years in between remind her God does have her plan for her life...and that He has a tremendous sense of humor. You can visit her at her website and her blog. Don't be shy!