February 8, 2013 by Susie Finkbeiner
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Conflict is essential to story.
If the character in a story gets what she wants with absolutely no opposition…well…that, my good friends, is a very boring story.
No one grows.
No one learns anything.
No one reads that novel.
Every novelist knows how important it is for his/her character to go through the ringer. But, if that novelist loves his/her character, it is not fun.
When I wrote PAINT CHIPS , I cried, dripped sweat, agonized over what Cora and Dot had to go through. Times when I needed to rework a difficult scene felt like I forced them through the hardship all over again. It felt like I was torturing my characters.
It was a terrible feeling.
I’m within the process of writing this second novel. At this point in my draft, my characters are blissfully unaware of what is coming at them. But I know. And I’m the one throwing the
hammer anvil at them. No. A thousand anvils.
But I have to do it so that they can change. Every single one of them.
And so that my readers can know that they are not alone. That other people feel what they feel. Suffer what they suffer. And that, even when the hardship darkens the night, a bright and brilliant morning is on its way.