Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Need Conflict

What am I reading now?  Hex Hall (Rachel Hawkins)

Annd. . . what do I think so far?  I'm a sucker for voice--so you know I'll love this book.

What happens when you're a witch, who casts a love spell to help a crying girl, who wants to date the football star, who was probably parking with his girlfriend, when he drives through the wall of the school to get to the prom to find the object of his spell-induced infatuation, who freaks out at the reality of you being a witch and rats you out?

You are sent to a reform school. A 200 year-old prison-like school, think Alcatraz for magical misfits. Seriously, that much talent in one place is going to be fun. I was laughing by page 2.

We Need Conflict
Lots of it. Overwhelming, rip your dreams apart conflict.
Oh, no--not for ourselves. For someone else.
We'll watch.

Stories are interesting because of the conflict they introduce. It's a promise they make.
Things will go bad. Then they'll get worse. Then it will be so dysfunctional all looks lost.
Then it's resolved.

Pain. It feels so good when it stops.

Good students are boring--bad students are captivating.
Happy families are boring--messed up families are interesting.
Good weather is boring--tornadoes are mesmerizing.
Happy couples are boring--love triangles are amusing.
Good manners are boring--social awkwardness is entertaining. 

This week's goal in my writing is to stay in the right-hand side of these comparisons.
More conflict, please!


Pam Williams said...

Love these ideas--that's why I've written about marriage and lives in crisis. Sometimes even the "happy endings" don't ring true.

alisonwonderland said...

I'm glad you liked Hex Hall. And I liked the sequel Demonglass even better!