Conflict: Contrived or Real?
By: Callie Hutton
Whatever genre you’re writing in, a reader expects conflict in the story. I mean, if there was no conflict, if everything was coming up roses, who would read the book? The hero and heroine have to be tortured. They have to suffer. Tears, recriminations, betrayal. Ah, the basis of any good love story.
In my recent release, A Prescription For Love, I tortured Heidi and Michael so much, tears came to my eyes as I read it over. Oh, did I make them suffer! Hehe. But, because it was a romance there was the typical HEA, even though I made them crawl through fire to get there.
As much as I love to read romance, there are a few types of conflict that cause me to throw the book across the room. Hmm. Well, not exactly anymore, since I read most of my books on my Kindle. They don’t tend to hold up well when you smack them against something hard.
The Let’s Talk conflict. When you have a conflict where a five minute conversation will end the angst, and neither one will instigate the conversation that will end it, I get annoyed. Unless there’s a good reason why they can’t talk. I mean, if one character is in a coma, all right. I won’t toss the book. If one of them is being blackmailed—as in A Prescription For Love—I’ll allow that. And if the misunderstanding is cleared up quickly, no problem there either.
Sometimes I want to scream at the heroine. “Just ask him!” I read one book where a two word sentence would have cleared up the conflict. Sigh. No patience for that.
Another type of conflict that drives me crazy is the one where the heroine knows someone (usually another woman) has an agenda, but the heroine believes what the nasty person tells her about the hero. It’s usually something horrible that makes the heroine cringe. Hello? Haven’t you noticed Miss I’m telling you this for your own good wants the hero, and hasn’t made a secret of it? So why would you believe this?
Again, if it only goes on for a page or two, I’ll suffer through. But if the conflict goes on for chapter after chapter, watch out for flying objects.
In my recently released Christmas novella, Miss Merry’s Christmas, the heroine overhears a conversation, and misunderstand what she hears. Nosey woman pays price. Because I didn’t want to lose my readers, as an author might have lost me, I resolved it all quickly.
For some bizarre reason, betrayal causes me anxiety in a book. If it appears a hero or heroine has been betrayed by the other, I get very upset. “No, no.” I shout at the page (sorry—Kindle screen). “He didn’t really do that. It only looks that way.”
I have been known to put aside a book with a strong betrayal conflict because it genuinely upsets me. Don’t tell me I’m nuts because I’ve reached that conclusion long before you read this.
Well now that you know my likes and dislikes. What about you? How do you feel about conflict? Are there any that annoy you? Or cause you anxiety?
Thank you so much for having me today. Here is the blurb for my release, A Prescription For Love:
Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1903. Betrayed by his fiancée’s infidelity eight years ago, pharmacist Michael Henderson vowed he'd never risk his heart again. But he doesn't anticipate the tug of attraction he shares with his new employee.
Heidi Lester flees her home, determined to prove to her overprotective parents she can conquer her debilitating asthma, to make a life of her own. However, her unscrupulous fiancé has no intention of letting her go. He has his own plans for Heidi and her inheritance.
Will a scheme to ruin Michael's family force Heidi to marry her fiancé, or will assistance arrive from a surprising source to allow her to be with the man she truly loves?
Buy links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/RLtRpE , Barnes &Noble http://bit.ly/OPbPFY , Soul Mate Publishing http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/a-prescription-for-love/
** Callie will give away to one winner their choice of a either A Run for Love (the first book in the series) or A Wife by Christmas (second book).***
Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. She’s had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and finally decided to put her writing skills to the test and write novels.
Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband of thirty-six years, two young adult children, and three dogs. You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base, www.calliehutton.com. Stop by sometime and say hello.
Books by Callie Hutton:
Oklahoma Lovers series, #1, #2, #3
A Run For Love (Tori & Jesse)
A Wife By Christmas (Ellie & Max)
A Prescription For Love (Michael & Heidi)
An Angel in the Mail
Miss Merry’s Christmas, coming October 31st
Daniel’s Desire, coming November 19th
All of Callie Hutton’s books can be found at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
|Author Callie Hutton|