Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Must vs Can't

I was checking out Kristin Nelson's PubRants blog this evening. Of course I multi-tasked because I was eating supper at the same time. Agent Kristin wrote about encountering complication masquerading as conflict in manuscript submissions.

Then in one of the comments, writer Linnea Sinclair shared an inspiration for her workshop which she got from noted SF author Jacqueline Lichtenberg. In a nutshell, the hero/heroine MUST complete a task that the antagonist CAN'T allow.

I've been working at internalizing Goal, Motivation and Conflict since the retreat, opening myself to eventual gene mutation so that I will become one with GMC. The soil was ready for the seed. I read the blog comment and 'bing'! Insta-sunflower.

I turned to my husband and read it out to him. He said, "That's just like an acting exercise we used to do. One of us would be told privately by the teacher that he HAD to stay on the stage for the upcoming improv scene, no matter what, to do a specific task. The other person was told he HAD to get the person to leave the stage no matter what."

More 'bing' 'bing' 'bing'! Just like a slot machine. Suddenly my WIP seems more accessible. Suddenly my lungs inhale the heady scent of GMC as never before.

Thank you to all the previous workshops I've had on GMC. Thank you to Christine's most recent one. Thank you Kristin, Linnea and Jacqueline. Thank you to all of my teachers. The student was ready.


toni said...

"Insta-sunflower." Love it. May need to borrow it. Now bloom!

And your dh's acting excersize. I would LOVE to watch such an acting excersize in progress. I'm sitting here thinking how I might convert that to "the small screen", a.k.a. a future excersize of some sort in my homeschool. I know. Not what you had in mind when you penned that, but it did inspire me on a personal level.

Annie Mac said...

It's a critical element of a book. It should be simple bit it isn't. I like the way Linnea described it.


This sounds really interesting.

I also like it when what the HERO wants is the opposite of what the HEROINE. Keeps them apart a bit ... (I'm such a meanie to them, LOL!)

Christine said...

That is an excellent way of dealing with the conflict. I need to keep that in mind with the manuscript I'm cleaning up right now. There is something wrong with it, and I think it has to do with the conflict.

And you're welcome. :)