Tuesday, December 18, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

Conflicts. Stories are all about em. But an early writing seminar I attended claimed there's one conflict romances can't have--the romance itself.

I still don't understand that. I think it's something to do with, "They want each other. So she'll have him, and he'll have her." End of story. Or rather, no story.

But there is one thing I do understand. The main question in romance is "Why can't we be together?"

It took me years to codify, but there are four groups of reasons. You're welcome to comment if I've missed one.

Why can't we be together?

  • Her problem.
  • His problem.
  • A couple problem.
  • A problem outside the couple.

How about some simple examples?

Why can't we be together?

Her problem: She was burned by Mr. Wrong cheating on her, so she doesn't trust Mr. Right when he comes along.

His problem: He's from the rough side of town and doesn't think he's good enough for a classy woman like her.

A couple problem: They're pretending to be married, but they aren't.

A problem outside the couple: Her father follows him around with a shotgun.

These are pretty stock situations, You'd have to dress them up with something new to actually use them. (For example, with the couple problem: They're pretending to be married, but they aren't. The only person who knows is their mutual best friend Frieda who is also the only person who believes these two are perfect for each other. Every chance she can, Frieda snarks at the "married" couple, how romantic they look together, how the husband got her ring exactly right, how the wife actually thinks his jokes are funny, etc.)

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

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