Novel Writing

Characters in Conflict: Tension and Pace

Conflict is a key element in providing pace and tension in your story. Both external conflict in the world of the plot (things that happen and people your characters are involved with) and internal conflict, which is how you transform your character. Conflict is the way that you drive the story forward. Without it there really is no story. If we know from the outset that your character will achieve what they want, there is no tension. The questions about what your narrator wants, and needs, which are not necessarily the same thing, and whether or not they will get them, are what keeps the reader turning the page. It’s the internal and external conflicts you set up and how your narrator reacts to them, is changed by them, as the story progresses that provide the change you need to give the story resonance and leave the reader feeling satisfied. In this workshop we’ll look at the different ways you can create conflict for your characters and when and how you can hide and reveal things from your reader to keep them guessing. We’ll look at examples from published novels and you’ll leave with insights and ideas on how to use conflict in your novel to drive the plot forward and provide emotional resonance though character transformation.

Date November 5, Saturday: 6 AM PDT / 9 AM EDT / 1 PM GMT / 6:30 PM IST (see below for time zone map)

About Instructor
Amanda Saint is the author of two novels, As If I Were A River (2016) and Remember Tomorrow (2019). Her short fictions have been widely published and listed/placed in many international awards, including Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, and Flash 500; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words. She has just completed a novella-in-flash, is two-thirds of the way through a flash fiction collection, and is just about to start work on a hybrid novel/flash long-form project. Amanda is also the founder of Retreat West (Winner Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards), which publishes novels, memoirs and short fiction. She has been designing and teaching online courses, and live workshops, for many years and has worked as an editor on hundreds of manuscripts. She is passionate about helping writers get to the heart of their characters to create memorable narrators that really come alive for the reader.

Click here for the Crow Collective Workshop FAQ.

Registration opens October 1:

Click here for the text version of the time zone map.

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