Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Talking Fiction

I'm just back from the 2009 Writing for the Soul conference. Even as I pitched a non-fiction book, How to Help Your Son Choose Purity Instead of Pornography, I sat in on a fiction track taught by author DiAnn Mills. She taught a continuing workshop on "Writing Romance that Sells."

My hope was that DiAnn might share some insights that would help me move my fiction WIP along. Two suggestions stuck with me:

1. Plot your story so your hero and heroine get together. This is a given in a romance--the "happily ever after." Now, plot your story so your hero and heroine don't get together. Doing so will show you where you can insert conflict into your story.

2. Once your manuscript is completed, hold it in your hands--and toss it on the floor. Sounds crazy, I know, but DiAnn had a point. Now, pick up a random page and read it to see if there is any conflict on that page. If there isn't, delete the page or add some sort of conflict. Conflict can be between characters or it can be internal. DiAnn's point is that conflict must be a continuous thread throughout your story.

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