Few things make me DNF books quicker than lousy conflict. Well, lousy characters, too, but anyway, today’s topic is conflict.
I find books with minimal to no conflict boring. The writing could be polished, the dialogue clever, the sex hot, but without conflict? I’m out. Especially in romance.
For me, the best conflict is pretty simple. Every character should have a goal–something they want–something that’s preferably unrelated to the romantic relationship that will eventually evolve.
There should also be a compelling reason for why they have that goal. They need motivation.
And there should be a reason that goal is currently unattainable. There needs to be something preventing the character from achieving whatever the goal is. This is the conflict.
The best stories have both internal and external conflict. By that I mean there should be both internal and external forces that are preventing the goal from being realized. Better still? Is a romance where the love interests have competing goals. It works to increase both the internal and external conflicts for both people.
The worst conflict is “the big misunderstanding”. Like the hero see his love interest hugging another dude and instantly believes the love interest is cheating on him. And instead of talking about it, it becomes a whole big thing. Just fucking talk to each other. Conflict isn’t something that can be solved with a single conversation.
Sorry, guys. I think it’s just me this week, but if other links come in, I’ll be sure to post them.