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This month I want to focus on just one element of writing to entice an audience, what many call the absolute and necessary key to a good story; be it long or short. That element is CONFLICT.
Any kind of conflict inner, outer, global…conflict is the key to keep the reader reading.
A perfect example of great conflict in a story is our very own Nancy Cudis’ short story, The Decision. I personally really enjoy Nancy’s short stories and this one in particular takes the reader from the very first line when Maria is crying into her food into that magical element CONFLICT.
She is torn between what she knows to be right and by what she wants from the forbidden relationship with Damian. Then Maria places the conflict on her friend Louisa who is stable and has a nice life; but when that signature eyebrow raises, the reader can imagine that Louisa is so conflicted and does not want to be judgmental, and yet her moral values dictate that she feels pulled into something that is wrong by mere knowledge.
The backdrop is the global moral conflict fidelity, or perhaps better said infidelity. Everyone has a conflicting and often disapproving opinion; and yet people often find themselves trapped in its web.
Applying Philippine culture, Nancy gives us the word kerida and thus the reader is placed in the moment and the culture that makes the word far starker than its English counterpart; mistress.
Adding to this entertaining short story’s conflict, the female reader is sure to feel towards the scoundrel Damian, who has no business enticing the vulnerable Maria and lying to his betrothed.
If your story has no conflict, make sure you add it. And as Nancy so aptly teaches us in The Decision, it can be as subtle as a raised eyebrow.
Do feel free to blow up a thing or two in your writing and make the conflicts as explosive as you desire but remember a story without conflict is not likely to be read.
April 30th, 2012
About the Author
M.C.V. Egan is the author of The Bridge of Deaths. She lives in South Florida with her husband and teenage son. She is fluent in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Swedish. Be sure to drop by her wonderful site and check out her book, The Bridge of Deaths. It tells of a fictional account based on a true story that happened at the brink of World War II when an English plane crashed, sunk in Danish waters, and killed five persons. M.C.V. Egan has researched this story for almost two decades. The story has taken her to Denmark, England and to the unconventional world of past lives and psychics. Today, M. C. V. Egan and co-author Jolie DeMarco are working on a new book to be released in 2012.
Swing by her website to know more about M.C.V. Egan.
Check out the synopsis of The Bridge of Deaths.
Enjoy the video book trailer of The Bridge of Deaths at this link.
To order her wonderful book, please click here.
Check out her book at Amazon.com.