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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Overview Plot Development: Developing the Conflict

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“Character is plot, that the plot has to grow out of the characters, not be imposed upon them.” Jane Yolen

Jane Fitz—Randolph notes that one of the strongest plot combos is when the Wish fulfillment acts as a second tier to Purpose Achieved. The basic substance and enduring value becomes the theme foundation as the basis of the second tier—which takes us back to motivation and response.

Developing the Conflict.

Which type of conflict will best work?  Man versus nature or man versus society as in Hansel and Gretel? Or Huck Finn versus himself and versus society? What is the relationship with another character? What does the character want?

            Olga Litowinsky says:

“1. They want acceptance by their peers.
2. They worry about their position in their family, and how the family functions.
3.They are concerned about their physical growth: size, puberty, and how they look.
                     4.They are striving for a positive self-image, their own view of themselves.
5. They wonder about what the future will hold, their own, the society &   world.”

All these questions can be applied to contemporary, historical, fantasy, and sci-fi. If you’re writing cross-cultural remember to lean on these emotional cores.

Action Steps:

            1.Take the story question and the pattern you have been developing and integrate conflict from one or two of the above types.

2. Then look for places to increase the conflict with one of Litowinsky’s suggestions.

3. What enduring value can develop the theme?

Share: Which question gives you the most conflict?

Read deep, marcy

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