Tag Archives | The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Characters and instant conflict. Let’s talk.

At times, my life is full of conflict. I struggle to be the best mom possible when two of my kids are exactly like me, that is, a bit strong willed and determined.

My life would be so much easier if I was one of those moms who had patience and love bubbling over like a fountain in some romantic foreign city when their son spills the grape juice from his Flavor Ice onto the newish couch when he knows he’s not supposed to eat in there and it’s now a permanent stain.

Or when that same son yells out early in the morning on a Saturday that he broke the faucet, and everyone is sleeping in or trying to on the one day of the week they can.

Let me tell you, instant conflict.

Does your character offer the most conflict for the situation? That question comes up in SAVE THE CAT. In other words, the main character should be the worst person for the job, because for obvious reasons, there is instant conflict. And a lot of times, adds humor.

Here are some examples from books and movies:

Romancing the Stone: Novelist with no real adventure experience goes off on a crazy adventure with the man of her dreams.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Extremely overweight princess with a major carb addiction is born with the Godstone, which means she is meant for greatness.

Harry Potter: Boy with absolutely no wizarding power or experience needs to take down the most evil wizard ever.

Anna and the French Kiss: Anna is sent to a boarding in school in Paris but would much rather be at home in her safe world.

I’d Tell You I love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You: Cammie Morgan falls in love with a boy in town, except she’s been trained to be a spy and knowing 40 languages doesn’t prepare her for her first major crush.

Just think how different these stories would be if the character had been “perfect” for the story.

This is just one method of introducing conflict to a story and starting the emotional arc. I’ve looked and there are plenty of high concept and low concept books that don’t use this method and they are still extremely successful.

Have you ever thought about crafting your character to be the worst possible one for the role? And is there anyway to lift a grape juice stain from a couch? Just askin’.

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A celebration of 2011 authors: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS!

The allure of reading a just released debut author’s book, with a shiny new awesome cover is powerful. That’s why Christina Lee organized a day for us to promote some of our favorite authors of 2011.

I won the arc for THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson. The title captured the imagination. The cover made it seem mysterious.

Honestly? I had no idea what to expect from this high fantasy, which I don’t often read.

I loved it!

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Chosen for an extraordinary and fearsome destiny, a sixteen-year-old princess becomes the heart of a revolution. Her journey from untried teen to young woman of fierce love and untold power is, simply put, epic. Lush, adventurous, and wrenching, this is the first in a trilogy for fans of Kristin Cashmore’s GRACELING and Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books.

What I loved about it.

But this story was more than a fantasy, more than a princess tale, more than a revolution. Yes, all of those things added to it. But at its core what made me love this book was the main character, Elisa, and her internal struggle with her self image, with an addiction to food, and learning to stand up for herself.

Why yes.  This was a story of a fat girl. And it totally took me off guard because Rae Carson never came out and told us that Elisa was over weight. But just a little bit into her story, through great showing, I realized it. The description of her problem and her love of food was incredible. And that’s not even half of the problems Elisa had to deal with! Imprisonment. A hidden prophecy. Love. Evil enemies.

If you love contemporary stories, I think you’ll really enjoy this high fantasy because it was really just the story of a girl.

The entire list of participants is at Christina Lee’s blog.

And here’s the link to buy THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.

What’s been your favorite read this year?

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