My memories of the past have a huge impact on my writing today. My love of cowboys and all that is fantastic about the west are ingrained inside just waiting to be released. Western living has made me discover who I am. The close connection with nature, combined with tasks required to live are a part of my life lessons, I learned as a child and young adult.Although we were poor, I didn’t know it. On my birthdays and at Christmas my parents would give me a Zane Grey book (my favorite author). It was always just one – but a new story to read and re-read. I cherished those books and eventually had his whole collection. That they, with eight children to support, would consistently make me, the middle child, feel special and pick the exact thing I wanted is in my heart and thoughts forever.
In my memory it was this type of thing that made me realize the value of being myself and an individual. None of my siblings had my interests and none of my siblings were neglected in their own interests either.
One part of me was the passion and love I had for the outdoors, riding, six-shooters and catching bad guys was made real by riding my horse, by herding cattle and it was so easy to let my imagination fill in the rest. Riding in the wind taught me the reality of true freedom.
The other part of me devoured fairy-tales and a true enjoyment in making and designing my own dresses and gowns for my princesses. Now I realize it was maybe fortunate I didn’t have Barbie dolls to dress. Now I think that would be confining. I would have to ‘make do’ with other people’s designs and styles. I couldn’t change their hair-color or their eyes. But when I made my cut-out dolls and designed their clothes, the only limit was my imagination. I realized there is no limit to imagination. The most wonderful realization is knowing there is no-one telling me I must do this or that.
My imagination has no boundaries or rules. I can only thank my wonderful parents – those two people who let me be whatever I wanted.
Sometimes late into the night
If you have your eyes closed tight.
Fairies will come out to play
But open your eyes and they will not stay.
Boy meets girl. Boy and girl discover they have everything in common and want the same out of life. They live happily ever after. Boring – a story that can be summed up in one paragraph.
Conflict is not necessarily hard to find or think of – but often there is a problem with a plausible easy solution. Your hero or heroine might be angry or sullen throughout the story when a simple conversation might clear up the whole conflict. The reader becomes irritated and even dislikes your character.
On the other hand some make their main character perfect. That type of character can fast become disliked as well as boring. We are all human. We all make mistakes, some more than others. Mistakes and opposing beliefs are the easiest way to create conflict, especially in romance. Being attracted to someone then seeing they are not who thought they were is another. Now your heroine is fighting not only her attraction, but your hero’s behavior as well.
I used this in Alberta Wild Rose. My heroine starts out as a naive, sheltered girl falling in love with a completely inappropriate man. As she sees his flaws and grows she also must fight her attraction, she can’t change.
There are many outside factors to create conflict as well. Some story lines have been over used as far as I can see. Watch carefully to make sure you don’t make your heroine silly or even stupid when created hacked conflicts. If she likes dogs and he likes cats – that can be easily resolved I think. It is a very weak conflict. If an outside event like war is written into a story – that might be easier – but again make sure you aren’t stretching too far. An American spy falling in love with a German girl in WWII could happen. But to keep a regular army soldier in Germany long enough to create a romance before the war ended might be stretching reality?
So goes the challenges of a writer. If you can – without stretching the imagination too far and making it somewhat believable – you might be successful.
Today, I find there is an unbelievable amount of hostility in different beliefs creating unnecessary problems. I also believe some are coming across as silly and not believable. Their beliefs are so ridiculous and make me laugh not sympathize. Laughter/humor is a very good tool for writer’s – but laughing at someone or with someone are two different types. I don’t find unwarranted, weak hostility that appealing. I want my characters to at least show some respect/not abuse towards each other regardless of their beliefs.
Reality is money being a very large reason for fighting. Yet it is not commonly used.