Dave Koster over at On Writing Dragons made a good suggestion for the next conflict in my treasured novel, which I’m going to incorporate. Of course you understand that I’ve been doing a bit of seat of the pants writing. This is good and bad. Good in that it gets me writing, bad in that I sometimes resort to using whatever suggestions anyone wandering in to the blog makes and saying, “okay, that’s fine!” I’m the authorial equivalent of the easy girl at the bar. Ply me up with a few drinks and then suggest anything you want for the plot. Sure! That sounds great! Let’s do it.
And that’s how I ended up with Gollum, Harry Potter, and Jack Skelington starving in a sinking lifeboat from the Titanic being hunted by the White Whale and Jaws in a tag team while Japanese Betty bombers try to bomb them out of existence.
You make choices… you have regrets.
His suggestion was to make the next conflict with the narrow minded angry villagers with pitchforks and torches (NMAVWPAT), instead of army vs. small unit or police vs. small unit. There’s some merit in it, and it’ll be do-able with some substantial work to incorporate the NMAVWPAT as a character. It needs a leader who will trigger the conflict, and it needs a bit of mention in the prior chapters to create the anticipation so the reader can see that one coming. NMAVWPAT as a character is one which is in an ugly mood, prone to easily peak in anger and inclined to do stupid things they’d repent of in person. The note is chaos and it typically does not end well; people get injured and killed, which creates more conflict and goals.