Reply To: Showing Internal Conflict

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In other words, I always feel like I’m showing it through behavior, and then reinforcing it through introspection.  Thoughts?

Honestly, that’s how I do it, and I think that’s how you should do it. Very often, a character’s behavior only gives you a part of the story, and the narration gives you the rest.

If you only have behavior, it’s very easy for your character to look like a major idiot, while if you have the narration too, you can go “They’re stupid but I can see why.”

It’s the difference between being mad at the character and being mad at the author. It’ll make your character more likable if you explain what they’re thinking.

I already plan on editing out some of the internal conflict in dialogue and introspection, but a lot of it I’m unsure if I should keep or cull. I guess that will be for the beta readers to decide.

I’d say too much is better than too little, for a first draft. If you give it a break and look at it later you’ll be able to see when you’re being redundant. And beta readers are a great help 🙂

I’d say, leave it for a second, or even a third, draft.

That is the exact thing I try to avoid, and is something my favorite booktuber rants against. xD I do agree though that it can be done, but needs to be done carefully. I have a scene where this happens, and I am quite insecure about that scene. xD

Oh, I watch some BookTube too! I especially like Merphy Napier, though I have watched some others. I’ve found it to be a great help in picking out common flaws in books and getting some other opinions from people who read different genres.

The reveal doesn’t necessarily need to be a big thing. It depends on how big/tragic/traumatic the ghost is. It can also be in a casual conversation without making it dramatic, and that tends to take away the soap-opera-esqueness. (That was a weird word, but you get me.)

It depends on how many consequences the reveal will have. It’s a setup-payoff thing that makes it seem sappy if there’s this big reveal and all the characters just go “Aight, that’s cool” and everything goes on.

Rose, when I read this, I was like, “Yes! Someone else loves this too!”   This is easily my favorite way as well, and in my opinion infinitely more realistic than the sitting around the campfire type you mentioned. I have a scene where this exact thing happens, and is one of the few that I feel okay about.

I know! It’s just so fun to do!

Another way I like is character A keeping their backstory a secret from B, either out of suspicion or just because it’s too painful to talk about, and then character C (who does know) tells B and they have this “OH, that’s what happened!” moment.

It tends to highlight how painful the story is for A, and it feels less cliche. I’ve used this a couple times, just because it would be so out of character for the character themselves to talk about it, and I like the effect.

Maybe I’ll try to get you one of them, but it’ll be crazy confusing without reading the whole book. Plus, I’m gonna cajole you into reading the whole book someday, so I don’t want it to be terribly spoiled.

Valid point, besides, I’d say this isn’t a first-draft issue. You can fix it later more easily.

LOL, you’re succeeding XD I can’t make any hard and fast promises, but at this point, I’d like to beta-read it someday 🙂

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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