Writing Q&A Number 2

Question 2From Miranda:

My main character, Vanetta, has a younger brother named Breheldren who is child-like in his mind set. Vanetta is very defensive about people judging Breheldren (Dren for short). My main supporting character, Ash, makes a passing comment about Dren being ‘slow’, and this infuriates Vanetta but she does not address the issue right away (she got distracted).

Right now, I have the conflict between Vanetta and Ash stretching to about half-way through the book.

My question is, should I resolve the conflict sooner?

And, how do you handle interpersonal conflicts when they occur between your main characters?

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The reasons for interpersonal conflicts are many, but they should fit into one of these categories:

  1. Interpersonal conflicts that show character qualities. Such conflicts can be short-lived and resolved quickly, such as Aragorn’s anger at Frodo for his carelessness with the ring.
  2. Interpersonal conflicts that carry deeper meanings that coincide with a story theme or device. These should last considerably longer, such as Boromir’s conflict with Frodo about using the ring’s power. This shows the weakness of most humans against the ring’s power and also illustrates Boromir’s internal struggles.

In short, resolve Vanetta’s conflict with Ash soon if you want only to show their character qualities. Allow it to last a long time if you are using it to reveal an important theme.

If anyone has ideas to add, be sure to comment, and if you have a question you would like to see addressed here, then send it to blogqa@daviscrossing.com.

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2 replies

  1. Good advice, Mr. Davis. ^ ^ I’ll keep this in mind.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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  2. This is an excellent post. I’ve had this same question (though unformed) scratching at the back of my mind for a while now. Good to have that cleared up.

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