Fights, Rivalry, and Jealousy. Oh My!

Posted: March 26, 2014 in crime, dogs, hounds, Mysteries, Plot, Suspense, Thrillers, Uncategorized, Writing
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Alex and Quinn resting

Fights. Rivalry. Jealousy. You can go on and on, but it all boils down to conflict. It’s unavoidable in life, but desirable in novels. You wouldn’t have a book without conflict, or at least one worth reading.

There are all kinds of conflicts in literature. Every character has some kind of dilemma to overcome. Some have internal conflicts. Personal angst, Moral dilemmas, that sort of thing. And while internal conflict is an important part of thrillers, there’s also external conflict.

Roughhousing hounds, Alex and Quinn

Roughhousing hounds, Alex and Quinn

My dogs are perfect examples of a couple of characters who love to engage in external conflict, if only for play. Like characters in a thriller, their conflicts are physical and evident, no matter if they’re fighting for a ball or a treat. The same is true for external conflicts in thrillers. We clearly see them. The hero fights the bad guy’s quest for global domination. Or the protagonist has an argument with his spouse or co-worker.
Conflict is the stuff that crowds our character’s emotional lives and acts as a barrier to keep them from attaining what they want.

my hounds

Alex and Quinn resting

Of course I’m over simplifying. In novels — like in real life — people battle both kinds of conflicts simultaneously. But in real life, conflict don’t always end. In thrillers, it must get resolved by the end of the book. It’s something my dogs remind me of everyday. Their fights and squabbles, whether large or small, get resolved by the time they go to bed. And thank goodness for that.



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