Conflict – Writing about Trouble

Literature Blogs

When our son drove the thirty hours alone to Arizona, I prayed and prayed for him to have a safe and uneventful journey. The prayer was answered. But then I started thinking… poor guy. He didn’t have any interesting stories to tell from his trip, except that he never wanted to do that long and boring trip again.

Good stories are all about conflict and trouble.

In contract to our son’s trip, I remember going down a very steep, curvy mountain road in CA with lots of runaway truck turnoffs and hearing the news on the radio that the make and model of the car my husband and I were in was being recalled because it burst into flames when hit from the rear.

There was also the time when our muffler fell off in the middle of a deserted NM desert. We ended up tying it up with a guitar string, also giving my husband a beet-red look on just one side of his body.

How about the time we moved across country through three separate snowstorms with the wet snow caking on our headlights so the lights couldn’t show through and no place to turn off?

I don’t even like to recall the time our other son’s car started smoking on the SD highway with exits miles and miles between. He immediately pulled to the side of the road and got out, and where, within three minutes, the inside of his car was engulfed in flames.

And then, in OH, my father’s ego shouted, “I swerve for no animal!” He later spent hours washing the skunk stink off the tires and under-car.

Trouble. Conflict. All these troubles make for good stories. Page-turners. Ones readers want to read.

So,… are your stories similar to having a long and boring roadtrip? Or do you sprinkle in some heart-racing conflict to “raise the stakes” for your hero or heroine?

Today’s writing challenge: Write a scene today which forces your MC into trouble.

5 thoughts on “Conflict – Writing about Trouble

  1. You’re funny, Rose. Thanks. Since I’m lately into writing historical novels or fantasy adventures, road trips would have to be “modified.” But good thinking there. You gave me back a challenge.

  2. $150 car Dad purchased for me to use for a Summer Job in Fort Lauderdale (from OHIO). No rear view mirror, broken gas gauge, so I had to fill up gas tank every 150 miles, difficulty with drivers side window going UP. Around midnight on a detour outside of Atlanta I got a flat tire. Decided to sleep/remain in car until morning…. until a nice man on motorcycle came, went and got his truck and changed my car. I do have lots and lots of driving stories, alone, and with Mom.
    Oh yeah, 12 hr drive from Chagrin to Bowling Green in Blizzard. Normally at 2.5 hr drive. Surviving skills keep us alive.

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