Hélène Boudreau is the author of Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, a story about first zits, first crushes and first…mermaids’ tails?
Hélène had announced a little while ago that she had a few “spare” copies of her new book to give away, and since she’s having her launch tonight I thought, hey, why not see if she wants to give one away here to add to the celebration? And why not get her to write a guest post while she’s at it?
So here’s torkidlit author Hélène Boudreau to talk about how to incorporate conflict in a story. And then she’d like you to join her in a celebratory book-launch-day-game of I HEART THE STORY: I HATE THE STORY. Play along for a chance to win your very own copy of REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS!
Conflict. Wanna make something out of it?
Conflict is the engine that drives a story for me and it was the jumping off point for my character, Jade, in ‘Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings’.
At the very opening of the story, Jade has been invited to a pool party by her best friend, Cori. Jade tries to wheedle her way out of it because she hates swimming but Cori holds her to her promise to come. Jade needs to buy a new bathing suit for the party but she is at odds with her ample frame and has trouble finding a suit that fits. This is further complicated by the arrival of her first period in the middle of Hyde’s Department store. Moreover, when this surge of hormones brings on another metamorphosis, complete with scales and a tail, Jade is horrified because her disdain for swimming is actually more than that. Jade has been deathly afraid of the water ever since she witnessed her mother’s drowning the previous summer.
These are all examples of conflict and they are what (hopefully) keep a reader engaged in the story. Will Jade convince Cori to let her bow out of the party? How will Jade deal with this unexpected surprise visit from Aunt Flo? And, whoever heard of an aqua-phobic mermaid, anyway??
Conflict exists when characters want different things (Jade vs. Cori), or when a character is having an internal struggle (Jade’s feelings about her body) or when a character is at odds with their environment (Jade vs. the water).
So in that spirit, let’s play a game called I Heart the Story, I Hate the Story. The object of the game is to write a story starting with a positive sentence, then follow it up with a negative one which turns the story on its ear, then back again. I’ll get the story going and you can play along, adding your continuation of the story in the comments. Please alternate Heart and Hate sentences in the comments and let’s see how silly we can get.
Every comment is entered to win a copy of ‘Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings’!
I Heart the Story: “Once upon a time, in an underwater sea world, there lived a beautiful mermaid.”
I Hate the Story: “Except for the ugly black mole growing out of the side of her nose with wiry hairs sprouting from it.”
I Heart the Story: “But moles were a sign of beauty in her sea-culture and she dreamed of one day meeting her Prince Charming.”
Get the idea? Over to you… 🙂
Okay, let’s see what you come up with. Remember, each comment = one entry for a chance to win!!