|To be clear, conflict does not have to be a physical battle. Conflict does not even have to involve an antagonist. I had a critique partner who sometimes seemed to lose sight of this.|
Recall, there are really very few kinds of stories:
- (wo)man versus (wo)man
- (wo)man versus nature
- (wo)man versus self
What do all these plots have in common? Versus, i.e. conflict. (Okay, they also have (wo)man but I'll come back to that later in the month.) So, go ahead, torture your darlings! Make your characters suffer. Give your writing conflict.
Les Edgerton has a very nice blog post on this subject: Creating Tension
I should also mention C is for contest. My colleagues over at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers have opened up their annual contest for entries of fiction novels. There are six categories: Action/Thriller, Mainstream, Mystery, Romance, and Speculative Fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) and YA (all subgenres). This is a good contest, run by good writerly folks, and has led to some book contracts.