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Gail Gaymer Martin

Welcome to CAN’s new website from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailgaymermartin.com. Today I will begin a new series on Tension and Confict which is a driving force in fiction writing. I hope you enjoy the seven articles on this topic.

The Set Up to Tension and Conflict
I recently presented a workshop on tension and conflict. The topic offers many steps to writing a good novel. I began this workshop with the basic elements needed to begin a novel because it sets up how conflict begins. Conflict is a concept you know is vital to any story. It is what drives your story and is an event that causes action between the opposition and the main character. Tension, on the other hand, is the character’s reaction to the event. This reaction arouses emotion of the character and the reader. Emotion is a must in any novel.

Vulnerable Characters
Major characters must be vulnerable. They have flaws, weaknesses, fears, and sinful behaviors which they often are trying to hide. Immediately you find tension inherent in this situation. Whenever a character wants to avoid facing a truth, tension creating emotion happens. Another side of these flaws and weaknesses might be the character’s inability or avoidance to face them. It is denial. I am not impatient. I do not look at everything in a negative way. I don’t feel sorry for myself. When you look at your own flaws, you can relate to this problem. No one wants to admit what makes them less than perfect.

Characters’ Goals
Every major character needs a goal. It is something they want to gain or something they want to avoid. They want to gain a good reputation. They want to avoid gossip. They want to find the treasure. They want to avoid being found. They want to find the killer. They want to avoid being killed. They want to find love. They don’t want to give up their freedom.

Goals fall into three other categories: possession, relief, or revenge. The character wants to possess wealth, charm, good looks, success, love. The character wants relief from fear, loneliness, hatred, domination, pain, sorrow. The character wants revenge for a loss, betrayal, lie, robbery, prejudice. You can add to the list with your own ideas that fit under possession, relief or revenge. Keep these ideas in mind as you create goals for your characters. Make sure the goal has issues that will create conflict.

The Hook
Every novel needs a hook, a premise that draws the readers in and an event that makes them curious or ask questions. A hook is introduced when something happens. It can be the result of a new character entering the scene, receiving a letter or phone call, being offered a proposition, reading something in a newspaper, or a character’s startling statement. Whatever it is, the thing that happens is best when it adds surprise, makes the readers ask questions, or creates an emotion that pulls the reader along.

Next, the “happening” creates opposition to the character’s goal. Opposition is conflict. Well-known writer, Dwight Swain, in his book, Techniques of the Selling Writer, says that conflict can:
• Hinders
• Complicates
• Blocks
A goal is hindered when another conflict or another goal gets in the way, especially a goal that must be reached before the larger goal is accessible. Complications can involve an accident, another person demanding time or energy, a new piece of information that changes the direction of the goal. Finally goals can be blocked when someone gets there first or when someone removes options. I’m sure you can think of many other things to add to this list.

The next article will cover the Nature of Conflicts.

 

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  Day 14 - (Butchart Gardens) 182_2

Cheri Cowell here:

Do you consider yourself an expert? As a speaker and writer, like it or not, we are seen as experts. Wearing the expert mantle takes some getting used to, but if we want to carry the message that's been placed in our hearts into a world full of 'experts' on just about everything, we need to get comfortable fast. Here are some things to consider in hanging out your expert shingle.

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Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

“Did you want a four or a seven-day Caribbean cruise?” the travel agent asked.

What a choice. Even one day on that luxurious cruise ship is enough to make me salivate with excitement. But recently, unfortunate cruising events broadcasted by the media brought that thrill a notch down.

Many feel pity for those passengers who found a nice cruise turn to a crazy nightmare. But when sailing in our own ship to success, the fate isn’t much different.

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Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Anybody out there dizzy like I am? Are you being bombarded by offers, suggestions, advice, luring seminars, and workshops—all to expose your writing, enhance marketing efforts, and boost sales?

Confessing…I’ve been caught in the gotta-try-that frenzy. Most of us are dashing here and there, hoping to get that platform built. Eager to get our books promoted. Trying to get that door to open, one that will make our work soar to the top. Trying to book that big speaking engagement. Trying, trying till we collapse into bed, our head exploding with endless possibilities—too many to try. And some, too expensive to accept.

So, what to do? How to dodge the firing of internet luring? I just came up with five practical steps, simple to follow. And with a bit of diligence, they will bring serenity to the internet insanity.

1. Begin the day with prayer for God’s wisdom—abundant wisdom to choose, evaluate, and discern.

2. Be careful. Is the offer sounding too good to be true? It probably is.

3. Be prepared. Is the lure touching your emotions with wording: “only three spots left; act now and save…offer only today.”

4. Be bold. Check out input from trusted fellow authors and speakers. They will share their experience, giving valuable insight.

5. Be faithful and embrace this truth: in the midst of endless offers, God offers His grace to accomplish what we cannot.

At the end of the day, you can put your head on the pillow of peace, and having made Godly-wise decisions, your heart will echo, “All is well with my soul.”

Janet

Judson Press, 2011

Simply Salsa, Amazon Best-selling book

 

Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Although blind, Janet Perez Eckles inspires you to see the best in life. With her #1 Amazon best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, she inspires you to look beyond a complicated world to find the simplicity of God’s joy and success.
www.janetperezeckles.com

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JillWilliamsonACFWHeadshotAn influencer is someone who dedicates themselves to helping spread the word about your book. You, or your publisher, compensate them by giving them a free copy of the novel.

Influencers can have a wide variety of influence. Maybe they are a librarian. Or a pastor’s wife. Or a school teacher. Or someone with a popular blog. Maybe they are a book reviewer. Or maybe they aren’t any of those things but do a great job at spreading the word about books.

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