Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Author Guest / June 17, 2010

Young Dorothy wants to run away from home. Later, she’ll move heaven and earth to return home. Daniel won’t compromise his principles as an artist when he doesn’t like the way he’s directed to play a scene. When he’s later called to play an outrageous roll in order to be close to his children, he’ll perform in any way necessary. What happens to change the goals/outlooks/lives of these characters? An inciting incident. All good stories depend on an inciting incident to get them going. What distinguishes an inciting incident from other incidents in a story? The inciting incident, the event which jumpstarts the story and prompts protagonists to make lofty goals, is an event which will change a character’s life, his outlook on life or both. In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy wants to run away from home when a neighbor woman takes away Toto, her dog. Losing her pet is an “incident” in her life, but it isn’t a life changing incident. Landing in Oz is a major event, the inciting incident which is going to change everything about her outlook on life. In “Mrs. Doubtfire” Daniel gets fired from another acting job because he won’t follow the director’s…

FRAN SHAFF | It’s Nothing Without the Conflict
Uncategorized / March 12, 2010

Conflict What is conflict? How does it affect story? In fiction, conflict comes in two forms, internal and external. Internal conflict happens due to struggles within a character’s heart and mind. External conflict occurs due to the environment the character lives in or is exposed to. An example of titanic conflict, both internal and external occurs in the movie The Patriot During the American Revolution Mel Gibson’s character is faced with an impossible choice–should he fight for his beloved country’s freedom, or should he stay behind to protect his family? In choosing to stay with his family, Gibson’s character illustrates massive internal conflict. His choice goes against his sense of patriotism and makes him look cowardly to peers. External conflict occurs when one of Gibson’s sons, a soldier in the revolution, is captured by the British and another of his sons, a child, is killed by the enemy. This external conflict, which happens in his environment, causes him to leave his duties with his family to fight for his country. How does a writer effectively incorporate conflict into her story? A key way to find the answer to this question is to ask another question or two while organizing the…