Monday, September 19, 2011

Caution: Conflict Zone




Do I avoid conflict in real life, just like everyone else has said here…you betcha! To be precise, I usually run the other way. However, over the years, I'm getting a little better at dealing with it. It probably stems from the fact that I was pretty shy growing up and did not like being in the spotlight when it came to dealing with difficult situations. I would not seek out people like the girl in second grade who threatened to hang me by my eyeballs if I went on the jungle gym. Instead, I avoided the jungle gym for a few days. And when another girl the next year stole my sticker collection, I had my mother intervene and call the teacher.

When I was a middle school language arts teacher one of the assistant principals in my school was one of the meanest people I have ever met. Every time I had to deal with her, I would shudder. Basically she was a bully and thrived off of treating her employees poorly and she got away with it for years. I was young when I started teaching and put up with way more than I would ever now, thirteen years later.
When I write I love conflict, the more, the better. I imagine a story without conflict would be very boring. Conflict definitely spices up things and adds intensity to a situation. Page turners are fueled by conflict. So I may avoid conflict in my personal life but I dive in nose first when it comes to my novels. It’s really an important element in fiction because it ultimately helps the characters grow.

Even though I have avoided conflict as much as I can in my personal life, I know I’ve learned a lot from having to deal with it. Going through tough situations has only made me stronger, helped me realize how lucky I am and now I have plenty of material to pull from when writing my novels.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting point. I too avoided conflict, ran the other way when the scary large girl was around etc. However, like you I love books with conflict. The more, the merrier!

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  2. Interesting how the scariest bully was an adult. Great post!

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  3. It seems like a bunch of us writers avoid conflict in real life (myself included). Maybe that makes it more enticing to play out those conflicts on the page? It's intriguing to watch a character squirm (a feeling we all know well), or to live vicariously through a character willing to step right into the fray.

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