I want to introduce you this very handy tool that I use to plan each of my books. It is part of Kathy Jacobson’s A Novel Approach Handbook. (Available at http://www.kathyjacobson.com/)
If you don’t have conflict, you don’t have a story. With Kathy Jacobson’s CONFLICT GRID,* you can uncover every possible conflict inherent that keep your hero and heroine apart. No more sagging middle. No more trouble crafting a true black moment. No more trouble finding the unifying theme that gives your romance power, no matter what subgenre you write. The CONFLICT GRID also clarifies the basic elements of your romance so that you can pitch it to an editor and give her exactly the info she needs to assess whether it’s a winner or not. The CONFLICT GRID, filled out in full, also provides you all you need to write a proposal. It can be your main planning tool for character and plot. Once you learn it, you’ll wonder how you did without it!
Let's get started!
3- Now down the left border, write these terms, leaving room to enter their definitions:
SHORT RANGE GOAL:
LONG RANGE GOAL:
CONFLICT OF CIRCUMSTANCE:
SHORT RANGE GOAL: What is the main external challenge in terms of goal for each the hero and heroine?
LONG RANGE GOAL: But if you asked him, what his long term goal is, he would be irritated with you. Often our h/h don't know clearly what is most important to them; many don't want to face it because it would be hard to achieve or it might even go against everything they had ever been taught or everything that has ever been expected of them.
CONFLICT OF CIRCUMSTANCE: EXTERNAL What are the h/h doing that will bring them into conflict? This all about what's going on on the outside of your character's not their inside.
CONFLICT OF PERSONALITY: This encompasses the internal struggles which both h/h must overcome in order to become free of the past and ready and worthy to give and receive love.
CONFLICT OF RELATIONSHIP: is the romantic conflict. Every h/h have a history of romantic relationships--even if it's only watching their parents or friends. What opinion have they formed of falling in love?
EMOTIONAL DANGER is directly related to the CONFLICT OF PERSONALITY or in other words your internal conflict. What EMOTIONAL danger does your hero pose to the heroine and vice versa?
EPIPHANY: This comes either during or after the climax. The hero and heroine finally understand what they must change in their lives, what old ideas and lessons they must delete in order to be rewarded with love or be able to love. This is the theme.
Again, I have to thank Kathy Jacobson for this handy tool. I would suggest you buy her A NOVEL APPROACH full writing course for any genre. I’ve found many more of her worksheets and lesson amazingly productive. She has become a life coach and is no longer writing romance. But her materials are excellent! (Available in PDF 220 pages for $25 at http://www.kathyjacobson.com/ )
And I will be teaching it this September through RWA's Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter.
Drop by http://www.romance-ffp.com/event.cfm?EventID=108 and register before August 26th. Cost $25
Hope this helps!
Lyn's latest release, Her Abundant Joy, is available now. Stop by her website, http://www.booksbylyncote.com/ or her blog, http://www.strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com/ for information on how to purchase.
Can a beautiful young widow find peace in the arms of a Texas Ranger?