Goals, Motivation, Conflict: Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

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Hey there! Welcome back to another awesome installment of Freaky Friday with your truly, Michelle Roth. Today I’ll be discussing goals, motivation, and conflict. Before we delve into that, I’d like to start a little more broadly, though.

There is a difference between a BOOK and a STORY. A story is just that. A tale of something that happened. Doesn’t need to be particularly riveting. Just a thing that happened.. or a thing you imagined might happen.

Story:

I went to the post office today. The line was long, but I finally managed to mail my package after twenty five minutes.

Book:

After a twenty minute wait in the post office, I was informed by the clerk that I didn’t have the proper customs paperwork to mail my manuscript to the United States. It was due to my agent the following afternoon for review by Harlequin and I was nearly frantic. I was forced to get out of line, fill out the paperwork, and wait again for another clerk before I could post the package. Luckily, I managed to overnight the package with a scant four minutes before the deadline for overnight packages lapsed.

See the difference there? The first example told us that something happened. The second example presented:

Goal: Get MS to agent
Motivation: Review by Harlequin
Conflict: Lack of time vs. Craptastic customs forms

 

 

When you’re plotting your next book, not only should you be mapping out a book, but you should be ensuring that each main character has goals independent of falling in love/having copious amounts of sex, motivations outside the romance, and conflicts that are not tied to the other main characters directly.

Next week we’ll discuss internal vs. external conflict. Until then, I bid you adieu.

 

xoxox,

Michelle

This entry was posted in Writing Advice by Michelle Roth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michelle Roth

Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book. In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth

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