Thursday Thoughts: Universal Conflict

While these “messages” from the Universe (via are meant to be life lessons of a sort for the individual, I so often find lessons that pertain to writing as well. Granted, my life certainly needs all the help it can get, and as a writer, I never want to stop getting better. Anyway…

So. There’s a thing when dealing with characters. Fiction writers take classes on the topic. What is it, you ask… It’s called GMC–Goal(s), Motivation, Conflict. Each character needs these three things in order to be interesting, in order for their story to be interesting and compelling, which keeps a reader reading. Some writers keep detailed notes, outlines, charts, etc. to make sure that each scene has its share of GMC. Lots of new writers want an easy way to understand GMC. To me, the Universe pretty much sums it up:

There’s never been a conflict, Silver, from which both parties didn’t have something very cool to learn.

That’s why we call them parties.

The Universe

Actually, every day’s a party, Silver, in time and space.

The last two lines before the Univers signs off is what sums it up for me. “There’s never been a conflict from which both parties didn’t have something very cool to learn. That’s why we call them parties.” The conflict between the parties (external conflict) leads to lessons (internal conflict) learned by the characters. And the party? That’s the Happy Ever After. Because I write romance. Gotta have the HEA. So question for both writers AND readers: Do you prefer the character’s internal conflict or is the external conflict your catnip?


About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of several award-winning series--Moonstruck, Nightriders MC, The Penumbra Papers, and Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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2 Responses to Thursday Thoughts: Universal Conflict

  1. Gotta have a HEA… or at least a happy-for-now… in all my books – the ones I read and the ones I write. Won’t have it any other way. Without conflict, it’s an ‘already happy’ and where’s the fun in that? I don’t really care whether it’s internal or external, as long as there’s conflict, there’s a good story.

    In real life, though, I would prefer everything to be conflict-free. If’n ya catch my drift. No drama for this mama. ;o)

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