Reply To: Student: Kathy Strobos Homework Thread

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Linnea Sinclair

Ah-hah moments “Nothing can change the past. Therefore, there’s little to no reader involvement and tension in reading the past.” (Which I think was also in your internal conflict class, but still resonated again).

Yep. I often use certain tidbits in different classes because, well, they apply. A tidbit for conflict also impinges on characterization, for example. That’s the good and bad part about crafting fiction. It’s not like sugar belongs in coffee and salt on potato chips, and that’s it. All aspects of crafting fiction–characterization, pacing, internal conflict, word choice, etc.–all intertwine and play leap-frog with each other. And the opening scenes and chapter have them ALL in the playground together.

“Take the information [from the character’s origin scene] and pack it into Motivation of the GMC.” That was really helpful, because I feel I need more motivation in my scenes–also to create more tension for higher stakes–what does she risk losing?

Internal conflict and motivation, definitely. If you remember my conveyor belt graphic from the Internal Conflict class, we have things like worldview  and self-belief (and those nasty little brain police) powering the internal conflict. And internal conflict works with self-justification and with fears. It’s a wonderful mess.

I tried to bring my origin scene (her misbelief that seeking that magical connection can be emotionally devastating, so better to be less emotionally involved/better to be off in fictional world) into the dialogue between her and Rory.

It’s a very relatable (mis)belief. Loving someone requires being vulnerable. That’s a dangerous place to be. We instinctively seek safety as much as we seek companionship, and the two are often at odds.

Also, I am reading The Art of War for Writers, which you recommended previously, and I love this quote under his chapter title “Speed is the essence of opening”: “Steven Wright wrote: ‘My house is on the median strip of the highway. You don’t really notice, except I have to leave the driveway doing sixty miles an hour.’” Lol.

Bell states in that chapter that “People read to worry.” That’s essentially the same as people reading to experience tension, and people reading because the brain craves dopamine. It’s a great little book. 🙂



//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//


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