James Scott Bell’s Conflict & Suspense is a well written and enlightening book on the bare bones essentials of writing. I opened this book and immediately became enraptured by his easy writing style and great advice. Before I’d even finished the first chapter, my notebook was whipped out and I was making thoughtful edits to my book. One of the reasons why I failed NaNo is that Kendra simply didn’t have enough motivation to keep going. Conflict abounded in the plot, but she just wanted to go her own way and let the people around her blow themselves up if they wanted to.
I can’t say as I blame her. She’s surrounded by losers. What she needs is someone worth fighting for. People who didn’t fall to the pleasures of magic through their own bad decisions. I began adding new sections, excited now. Writing that wasn’t just me.
We’re not going to do a comparison shot this time either, because we’re still working on new material, but here is a section I wrote showing her epiphany:
It was as if a knife cut away that part of her that had always held back. That part that told her to mind her own business. To flee. To find a place so far away that magic couldn’t touch. The invasion was everywhere. She could ride a horse till it was foam flecked and panting from exhaustion, but it would not take her away from this world.
Kendra stood up. “We’re going to fix this,” she growled in a low voice to Eric. “Now.”
I really liked this book. I think it was a great deal of help to the novel. I’d highly recommend this one to include on your list of books.
Before: 11,654 words.
After: 13,537 words. (I don’t have time to write. It’s not the fault of the book!)