A Problem With Conflict

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with writing conflict in my stories. Part of it is that I like my characters and I don’t really want to hurt them. But the other part I wasn’t consciously aware of until I had an epiphany the other day.

You see I’m a problem-solver. If you have an issue, I’m going to brainstorm until we find a solution to solve it. I’m not the person to come to if you just want to complain about a problem but not want to do anything to fix it, because I just don’t have the patience for that kind of thing – but if you want help, I’m your woman.

This of course becomes an hindrance when it comes to writing fiction. I bring up conflict for my characters and immediately solve it. I started writing book 2 of The Blackbridge Bond last month and was twenty thousand

words in and realised I’d resolved all of the conflict between the hero and the heroine – and still had another sixty to eighty thousand words to write! Ugh.
So what did I do?
I went back and I rewrote. I added in a couple of scenes, moved others around and figured out how else I could delay the resolution of the conflict. The conflict needed to be resolved in the first third to half of the novel so that they could get to the falling in love part, but not soon enough that there wasn’t going to be angst (and foreshadowing further angst towards the end of the book).
I’m now almost 50K through the book and I think the changes I’ve made have made it a stronger story. Now I just need to throw some more conflict at them so that the story stays interesting – and I must keep reminding myself that conflict is good and in fiction it is better not to solve the problem immediately. 🙂