Internal Conflict: She’s not sure she’s over him and she’s definitely still hurt and confused by his rejection. I was hoping it sounded a bit like false denial.
That’s what I thought. So that’s not what you’re writing. You’re writing to The Public (her public) with her weak and falsely brave “eleven” (hardy-har-har). BUT she’s not talking her internal dialogue TO the public. She’s talking to the reader aka herself. Herself knows This Sucks. Herself knows This Hurts. Herself is not going to tell Herself, Oh out of one to ten, it’s a mere eleven. Herself is going to tell herself it’s an eleven-freakin’-HUNDRED. (Or however you want to structure that howl of pain.)
Listen. What’s going to suck the reader in more? The rather mild denial of, oh I can handle this? Or the scream of internal pain and the public shame of sitting there with THE NEW LOVE AKA HER REPLACEMENT, the clench of teeth, the fake laugh… all the while she’s freakin’ dying inside?
The reader is not going to keep reading if she’s assured ahead of time that All Is Well, and this is just a minor inconvenience.
The reader knows there’s heartbreak + rage + shame BOILING OVER inside, and the reader is going to gleefully come along for the ride into the brunch waiting to see just how long it is before she cracks and the FIRE SHE CAN’T STOP flickers to life, right across those blueberry pancakes…
(We all love a train wreck and can’t look away… human nature.)
Now, this doesn’t mean she has to get in a floor-rolling cat fight with the new girlfriend, right in the restaurant. It CAN mean she does a few really stupid things she can’t back off from. Like get way too cuddly with Rory. Or maybe do a long face-suck with Rory. (Do you remember the scene in the original Star Wars where Princess Leia wants to prove to Han she is NOT interested in Him, the scruffy nerf herder, and she grabs Luke [not know he’s her brother, ewww icky] and KISSES HIM big time, right then and there?)
Remember, whatever she’s planning for the brunch scene… is NOT going to go according to plan. If she doesn’t grab Rory, then maybe she suddenly brags about HER new boyfriend, the one with the Maserati and the private jet… something she can’t later undo.
Whatever, the brunch cannot be a scene of just minorly dented feelings and well-controlled emotions that come out in only a few nervous ticks and a shrill laugh.
You. Must. Start. That Fire. Soon.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//