Friday, February 15, 2008

Are your characters on the "B" Team?

A good story has conflict, and well-rounded characters face inner conflict as well as outer conflict.

Lucy must save the ranch and not let it be foreclosed in order to keep the steers moving out and the groceries coming in--external conflict. Lucy doesn't want to keep the ranch, she wants to be an interior decorator--inner conflict. Her ancestors and siblings would be disappointed if she let the old homeplace go, yet they don't help. External and internal conflict.

We can go on, brainstorming, adding "but--" "so--" "and--" "but--" deepening external and internal conflicts.

How else can we add internal conflict?

A few blogs ago, I posted psychological issues one could face that would make interesting personality traits for our characters.

(And I stress again, that while little quirks can be amusing, real problems are not. I do not make light of those, or of the people who suffer them. The real problems could make wonderful, redemptive stories, though.)

Another source of internal conflict for the Christian market would be spiritual inner conflict. And this morning, I found an interesting and challenging article about the church today and one man's analysis of its influence on the world--not always for good.

Click here to read the six reasons he gives for his unsettling conclusion.

Do you agree with him? Does he understand? Is he too harsh? Characters in these situations may be understood or they may be criticized. Complacent. Miserable.

Disagreeing or agreeing, we can find fodder for our stories here. It's interesting reading, and sure to step on some toes--not my intention--but much of it is worth considering.

And perhaps worth laying on our poor, unsuspecting characters.

What do you think? Is the church on the "B" Team? Do you see your characters in any of these spiritual situations?

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