We all know without conflict, there is no story. Romance writers can use two types of conflict--internal and external. I tend to go with the external. Something or someone trying to keep the couple apart. Most writers go the route where differences in the characters' pasts, outlooks on issues, and their varying ways of reacting to problems are just a few examples of internal conflict on the way to their black moment.
But all conflict isn't bad.
It certainly isn't always an argument. And thank goodness for that. Conflict is anything that keeps the heroine or hero from attaining his/her goal. Linda wants to fly from Chicago to New York to witness the birth of her first grandchild. Thanks to a huge snow storm, all the flights are cancelled out of O'Hare. Getting to her daughter's bedside becomes her conflict. She catches a ride with a truck driver. He could have a great sense of humor, be going through a rough marital patch where Linda can advise him, or be an eight-handed Romeo.
Writing romance helped me realize some things about myself. For one, I don't handle real-life conflict well. Writing about it can put me in a bit of a depression. Another issue I have is either a pale gray dark moment or an over-the-top deep purple one that can make a reader roll her eyes and mumble, "For pity's sake!"
But life isn't always grand in romance--or in reality. As I write this, I'm watching a nurse clean Calvin. He went into a rehab facility on Sunday and this morning had a small stroke. He can't speak clearly; he mumbles and jerks his chin around to communicate. He can't raise his right arm. The doctor hopes these things are temporary. For a retired English teacher and radio announcer, back in the day, not being able to talk is doubly frustrating.
He can't say my name, but when I ask him if I'm his sweetest angel, his love shines in his eyes and in the small smile he can still make.
I'm supposed to be writing, but I have too many irons in the fire right now. I get our taxes done tomorrow. Someone baked into my rental car Allstate arranged while ours is being repaired. And a lens popped out of my glasses.
Life happens and it "ain't" always grand.
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