I have to tell you that Brenda Novak is an amazing speaker and a great writer. She is very willing to share her knowledge and experience with writers who are just starting out on their path to publication. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and credits the organization with support through some tough years.
She also has a very special reason for being involved in Diabetes Research, and holds an on-line auction fund raiser every year. http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/ Her youngest son has Type 1 Diabetes, and unlike me, can’t really be blamed for his physical condition. I have Type 2, and can improve my health by being more active, eating fresh, healthy food, and losing weight. But for people with Type 1, it all happened without their doing anything. Brenda’s son is a grown man now, and has moved out of the house. And she is somewhat conflicted about that.
One point she covered in her talks at my local chapter of RWA meeting is that a story needs conflict. The conflict can change and grow over time as the story progresses. An example Brenda gave involved a woman and man whose grandparents had a major disagreement and ended a long friendship on bad terms. But once the man and woman get to know each other, and realize there is no reason to still feel the animosity, you would not like either of them if they still carried the grudge. There has to be new conflict, new reasons to show that getting what they each want will cause stress for each other.
My NaNo project, The Way She Moves, has conflict. And I struggle to keep it strong, because I want everyone to just get along! The main conflict is, as a shape shifter, Ash knows that Romela is his mate. But she is married to someone else. Romela knows her marriage was a mistake, and is taking steps to end it and get her son back.
Ash jumps at the chance to help her, and plans the assault on the enemy. Romela lets him make the plans, but will go her own way if she thinks it’s the best way to accomplish her goals. Ash doesn’t care to dance, he’s tall and muscular and doesn’t think he’s very graceful. But when one of his foster brothers takes Romela out on the floor for some hot salsa, he can either try to prevent her from dancing, or ask her to teach him how it’s done.
I also believe Ash would never have sex with a married woman. But as they are shape shifters, their jaguars can do a little mating, and that’s going to have to hold them until the end of the book. Wow, I might get to publish this under D.L. Hungerford, and not my erotica pen name, Roxanna Haley! And I’ll be back on Thursday.