Shop More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconookamikasumi: More from OokamiKasumi


Featured in Collections

Writing a book by TeamPercio

Writing by secretstarz7

Useful by Free-RP


More from deviantART



Details

Submitted on
April 21, 2010
File Size
11.2 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
10,341 (3 today)
Favourites
390 (who?)
Comments
48
×


Advanced Writing:
INTERNAL CONFLICT


Note: this is how the professional authors do it. That doesn't mean YOU have to. As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest.

The scene…
~~~~~~~~~~~~
His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.

Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy... He fired her blood more than any other man.

She turned away from his kiss. "Please, I can't."

His gaze narrowed, then he smiled. "Why? Why deny your desire?"

She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. "Forgive me, but I want to live."

He moved closer, to stand but a breath away. "Are you quite sure?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, I know, it's a bit over the top. Anyway… What we have here is a potentially hot scene brewing with a nice little Internal Conflict, but everything seems a little muddied. What's wrong?

This scene's Internal Conflict is Out of Chronological Sequence!

"What the heck does that mean?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chronological sequence is the order in which things actually happen.

1. Something the size of a fist hits your head.
2. The impact knocks you flat on the ground.
3. You sit up from the ground and shake you head wondering what the heck just happened.
4. PAIN!
5. Wincing, you look around for the cause and find a baseball.
6. Guessing what happened, you go looking for the culprits.

When stories are NOT written in the correct order that events actually happen, the reader gets confused. Make a story too difficult to read and they'll go read someone else.


The Chronological Order of INTERNAL CONFLICT!

1) SHOW the Conflict.
2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict.
3) Tell WHY it's in Conflict.
4) Resolve the Conflict.


1) Show them that there is a Conflict.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Show them, through the ACTIONS & Dialogue of your characters, that there is a conflict happening. This is pure showing – all action.

2) Tell them WHAT is in Conflict.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a statement, TELLING the reader, through internal narration or dialogue, exactly what is battling with what, within the character. Want verses want. Is it their heart verses their body? Their good sense verses their desire? Their career verses their heart's desire? Love for one verses lust for the other?

3) Tell them WHY it's in conflict – what is at stake?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is another statement, internally or through dialogue, telling the reader exactly what is at stake. Pile on the reasons, both pro and con. "I can't do this, because…but I want to, because…"

To make the most tension, state the Con first and then the Pro.

4) Resolve the Conflict

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make an Internal decision, and then have the character ACT on that decision.


Scene OVERHAUL!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When in doubt of ANY scene – pull it apart, sentence by sentence:

HIS initiating Actions:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress.
• His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown.
• His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.

HER Reactions:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart.
• She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast.
• He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal.
• The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh.
• I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy...
• He fired her blood more than any other man.
• She turned away from his kiss. "Please, I can't."

His following Action:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• His gaze narrowed, then he smiled.
• "Why? Why deny your desire?"

Her following Reaction:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her.
• "Forgive me, but I want to live."

His Initiating Action:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• He moved closer, to stand but a breath away.
• "Are you quite sure?"


Actual order of events:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1) He kissed her.
2) She reacted, and wanted more.
3) She had reasons to resist. (Internal CONFLICT!)
4) She resisted.
5) He sought to reestablish contact.
6) She resisted.
7) Closing


1) He kissed her.
(The sentences that belong to this event:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• He kissed her.
• His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress.
• His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown.
• His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.

In proper Sequence:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.


2) She reacted, and wanted more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart.
• I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy...
• He fired her blood more than any other man.

In proper Sequence:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart. He fired her blood more than any other man. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy...


3) She had reasons to resist ~ CONFLICT!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
• She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast.
• He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal.
• The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh.

1) SHOW the Conflict.
2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict.
3) Tell WHY it's in Conflict.
4) Resolve the Conflict.

1) SHOW the Conflict.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast.

2) Tell WHAT is in Conflict?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh, and yet, the fear in her soul told her to stop.

3) Tell WHY it's in conflict. What is at stake?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal.

4) Resolve the conflict.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Oh, no! There's nothing to put here! So, add something, right here to state her decision.)

Yes, she wanted him, but death was simply to high a price to pay for his embrace.

In proper Sequence:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh, and yet, the fear in her soul told her to stop. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. Yes, she wanted him, but death was simply to high a price to pay.

4) She resisted.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She turned away from his kiss. "Please, no."

5) He sought to reestablish contact.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
His gaze narrowed, then he smiled. "Why? Why deny your desire?"

6) She resisted.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. "Forgive me, but I want to live."

7) Closing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He moved closer, to stand but a breath away. "Are you quite sure?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't forget! -- No matter what, both Internalization and Dialogue happens AFTER Physical Reactions. ACTION always precedes COMMENT. The body reacts faster than thoughts or comments. Ask any martial artist.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ADJUSTED into Proper Sequence:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
His lips drifted across hers in a warm caress. His hand pressed at waist, the heat of his palm warming her flesh through her corset underlying the deep blood silk gown. His fingers drifted upward, toward her breast.

Desire pulsed within her core, in time with her heart. He fired her blood more than any other man. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy... Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh, and yet, the fear in her soul told her to stop. She wanted to let him tear the red silk from her body, and bury himself in her flesh, but set her palm over his to stop him just below her breast. He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. Yes, she wanted him, but death was simply to high a price to pay. She turned away from his kiss. "Please, no."

His gaze narrowed, then he smiled. "Why? Why deny your desire?"

She stepped from his embrace and clasped her hands before her. "Forgive me, but I want to live."

He moved closer, to stand but a breath away. "Are you quite sure?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Conclusion:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Violating chronological order is a Very Bad idea, even in something as simple as an argument.

If the actions are out of order, the reader's Mental Movie STOPS because you just confused your reader. This means that the reader has to Re-Read that sequence until they can figure out what the heck just happened in order to get their mental movie playing again.

Making the story hard for the reader to PICTURE -- is a VERY Bad Idea. Anytime the reader has to STOP to rearrange the words to FIT their mental movie, you've made a break. Breaks are BAD – very, very bad! A break creates a moment where the reader can STOP READING your story, and start reading something else -- and possibly never look at you again.

Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ookami Kasumi [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconasjjohnson:
AsjJohnson Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

In the original paragraph, couldn't it be interpreted as her thinking she needs to stop, but then almost giving in anyhow, and then quickly putting a stop to it before she can completely give in? Like a back and forth kind of thing? "I love it, but sadly, this can't happen. But it feels so nice and... No! I can't!" ...It might not be the clearest thing still. But I could see myself trying to write a character going back and forth with a decision (which would be chronological order the way I would picture it happening). Should I avoid mental conversations like that, and only write characters going straight to their decisions? Or is it just a matter of clarity, and I just need to make sure the wavering is written correctly, so it won't be missing pieces and sound out of order?

I'm kind of confused about why you ended up with the paragraph you ended up with. I guess it's just me. Maybe I'm not thinking about it in the right way. So... I'm going to kind of think out loud about it.
You say proper chronological order is 1. Show, 2. What, 3. Why, and 4. Resolve.
You say that 1. is that she wanted to let him to do stuff, but she stopped him, and that 2. is that she wanted his mouth on her flesh but her soul told her to stop. But, when you wrote out the paragraph correctly, you wrote it as 2. 1. 3. 4. Isn't this contradicting the chronological order you had said?


Comparing the two versions in Word Starter with highlighing, it looks like you have the paragraph arranged like, A. Happy, non-conflict thoughts, B. she wants it but. C. she wants it but. D. why she can't. Okay, that's clear enough. In the tutorial, you referred to A. as "She reacted, and wanted more", while B. and C. are the "What" and "Show" ones, respectively (but they both sound alike to me), and D. is both "Why" and "Resolve" (to me, it looks like telling it, and then telling it again with more detail).

But, I also noticed, when I had compared them line by line, that you had switched the order of two sets of lines from the first version of the paragraph. - And these sets seem to be in the same categories, so it doesn't look like it has anything to do with which parts of the paragraph come first.
First: "I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy... He fired her blood more than any other man." became "He fired her blood more than any other man. I am overcome, overcome by a desire I know only he can satisfy..."
Second: "She wanted to let him . . . but set her palm over his to stop him. . . . The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh." vs "Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh, and yet, the fear in her soul told her to stop. She wanted to let him . . . but set her palm over his to stop him. . . ."
Third: (this is a reordering of two pieces of the same line) "The fear in her soul told her to stop, and yet her body begged for his mouth on her flesh." vs "Her body begged for his mouth on her flesh, and yet, the fear in her soul told her to stop."
The second switch is the Show/What and What/Show thing I had already mentioned. For the first and third switches, it looks like you just switch them without actively mentioning why.

I'm going to attempt to explain the switches by it having to do with what you said about Internalization and Dialogue happening after Physical Reactions. So... first, he fires her blood, and then she thinks about desiring him? (but if you hadn't switched it, I could've said that she was overcome by her desire, and then she thought about him firing up her blood more than other men, so I don't think I get it). She first... uh... she felt the urge to stop, and then put her palm over his...? But that puts her action after her thoughts, which is backwards from your warning. (...but if physical reactions always happen first, then wouldn't she have turned away and said no before thinking about not being able to do this, too? and I'm pretty sure I do think before acting a few times, even though I do act before thinking most often) But for the last switch, I'm thinking you probably reworded that sentence to put the con before the pro- oh wait. No. her body begging for his flesh sounds like a pro, and the fear in her soul sounds like a con. So that doesn't work, either. :/ I'm totally confused by everything. Am I missing something really obvious? Thinking way off on the wrong track? Can you explain those three changes in really simple words for me to understand? T_T This tutorial just seems to go over my head. It looks like a lot of others understand it just fine, though. I guess it might be something about how you worded things that just doesn't click with the way I think. ...and the more I try to figure it out, the more confused I get. I think you might have some good advice, but I just don't quite understand it.

Reply
:iconnightshade43:
nightshade43 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
Okay, I know this is a guide (and an excellent one at that), but one line made me back away from the keyboard very quickly.

• He was a vampire and she, a mere mortal. 

I know it's necessary for their races/situation to be explained, but to me that approach comes across as extremely cliche. Especially the term "mere mortal". I love the internal conflict, but that phrasing.
I personally love to read between the lines with character reactions but I do like the conflict being hinted at. (And quite a few books could stand to explain things a bit better or before the very last page)
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Writer
Yes, it was a cliche, but it got the point across using only a few words -- and that's what was needed for that essay.
 -- And since you really don't like it, consider it a Challenge: Do It Better.

More of my stories were written simply because I didn't like the way someone else wrote something; because they did it Wrong. (A whole pile of my fan-fictions got written that way. LOL!)
Reply
:iconnightshade43:
nightshade43 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
 And since you really don't like it, consider it a Challenge: Do It Better
Sorry, I'd lose that bet really fast. Sorry if I came across as rude or anything. I meant nothing negative by it.

Lol, yes the fanfiction. I love reading it mainly because the bad ones give me a learning experience, and the good ones make me consider why I've read worse published stories.
I read one ghastly published book that blatantly copied another series! Characters were similar, events were similar, even locations! The only good part of it was a vampire virus spread through a meteor that also spread a flesh rotting virus.
Reply
:iconhoneycloudoftheriver:
[It is Not.]
Why do you capitalize stuff like that? Is it for emphasis or do you do it without noticing?

Your tutorials are nice. I didn't find it too snotty, and it's always nice to hear some tips from published authors.

Ramble ramble ramble.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Professional Writer
It's exactly as you said; I capitalize for Emphasis.
 -- It's a copywriting technique to get the reader to Remember what was written.
Reply
:icontwirlybrows:
twirlybrows Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Wow this is amazing, thanks so much
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Writer
You're very welcome.
Reply
:iconmorphoadonis:
MorphoAdonis Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Sorry, wanted to get that out of my system before I forgot it.

Now, as for this particular piece... Very helpful, especially because of the subtlety of the problem. As a young aspiring writer, I often find that the tips that are handed out to amateurs are over-simplified and blunt.

This can make one very over-confident if the only problems commonly presented are the obvious ones. As I'm sure you've been told countless countless countless times, the tips you've provided are quite helpful and very much appreciated.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm glad you like my tips!
-- This particular tip came from a writing exercise I gave my online writing class. They were supposed to write a single paragraph.

However, even though I gave them a "fill in the blank" formula to work from, every last one of them made this same mistake. The breakdown on how to spot it (they didn't even see it!) and how to fix it became this tutorial.
Reply
Add a Comment: