Last week, we looked at how dialogue requires conflict in order to move a story along and make people WANT to read. This week, I want to provide a resource that will help you dissect how conflict makes it’s way into the story through your plot. But before we go into that…I want to drop one more gem on you about writing dialogue.
While last week’s blog post focused on providing resources to help you understand conflict in dialogue, but it didn’t give you anything to show you HOW to write dialogue. Please take a look at Eva Langston’s 10 Dialogue Mistakes in Fiction and How to Fix Them. It will teach you the industry standards to writing dialogue by walking you through what your dialogue shouldn’t look like. I stumbled across this article over the week and think it’s a must read.
With that out of the way, let’s look at your plot! Kaitlin Hillerich wrote an absolutely wonderful piece on looking at conflict, tension, and plot. And that’s exactly what it’s called, Writing 101: Unraveling Conflict, Tension, and Your Plot.
As you are writing your novel, you have to keep three questions in mind. As simple as these questions are, if you lose sight of them, you will end up writing a story that no one will ever read to completion. Answer these questions and you will write novel after novel, keeping your readers glued to your story.
- What is conflict?
- What is plot?
- What is tension?
If you can’t answer these three questions, then you’re in trouble. If you can answer them, but it takes more than two sentences, then you have overcomplicated these key concepts. Either way, your writing will suffer.
Don’t wait another minute. Read Hillerich’s article and let her provide the simple understanding of conflict, plot, and tension. She will easily and quickly walk you through examples to bring these concepts to life. Once you feel you understand them, then put them to practice in your own novel writing.
Think of that one horribly boring book that you couldn’t bear to finish reading. Well…if you don’t understand conflict, plot, and tension, that will be the fate of your book too.