The course of true love never did run smooth. ~ William Shakespeare
I think we all agree conflict makes a book interesting. But is there such a thing as too much conflict? Most straight contemporaries are driven by internal conflict. Boy meets girl. They have major issues (past pain, goals, beliefs, etc.) that keep them apart. They work through these problems and reach their HEA. In suspense, much of the conflict is external. Sure they have a few internal issues, but the serial killer stalking the heroine is generally the biggest deterrent to their HEA. These books are likely to be more plot driven. The contemporaries are usually character driven. Then there are historicals. (Yes, I'm leaving out a bunch of other sub-genres because these are the only ones I write! LOL)
My historical are a mishmash of internal and external conflict. They're character and plot driven. In a nutshell, I threw everything I could at my poor hero and heroine and told them to deal with it! In An Uncertain Destiny, Megan was brought up in the old Celtic religion to worship the Mother Goddess. Nicholas was raised in Puritan New England and believes in an angry God with fire and brimstone and eternal damnation for those who don't conform. He is promised to another woman and is driven by duty. She is a free-spirit with no patience for intolerance. That's probably enough internal conflict to carry a book, right? Except I didn't stop there. Oh, no. I tossed in a contingent of angry town folk who throw Megan in jail for being a witch and condemn her to hang. During the big escape, Nicholas is seriously wounded. Megan flees to an unknown destination to save him from the drama and danger surrounding her.
Yep, that's a LOT of external conflict to go with the internal dilemma. Too much, or do readers enjoy seeing the h&h tortured unmercifully at the hands of a sadistic author? Tell us what you think. And if you're wondering if Megan and Nicholas ever manage to find their HEA, well, you'll have to read the book! Just click HERE.