Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Lack of Conflict?

I've noticed a rather disturbing trend in the books I've read lately. Bluntly put, there is no conflict between the hero and heroine.

Yeah, the locale is exciting, the plot intriguing, but there is nothing to keep these two apart.

I'm a little confused when I read these books, some from big name authors, because I've had it drilled into my head that conflict is the heart and soul of a book, no matter romance, mystery, thriller, etc. But especially in romance, the conflict between the hero and heroine must be center stage.

Why has this changed?

I enjoy books where the hero and heroine must solve a crime or uncover a mystery - those are my favorite to read. But when there is nothing to keep the hero and heroine from making a commitment - that internal conflict thing - then I have to wonder why it got published in the first place.

For me, it's boring to have the hero and heroine "get along" all the time. It's not that I want them fighting, but there has to be a core conflict that they must resolve in order to find the HEA. When that doesn't exist, my attention starts to drift.

I must say that the saving grace of the recent books I've read that lacked this internal conflict was my sufficient interest in the solving of the crime or mystery - I wanted to see who the bad guy was, etc., etc. But the HEA for the hero and heroine was just too darn easy.

The one positive I can find in this situation is that I am making doubly sure that I have conflict between my heroes and heroines in my own books. I want the reader to be on the edge of their seat for that HEA.


  1. I think you are soooo right on this one. I remember the days where the internal conflict was so much the other way, it was ridiculous, the "I hate you but sleep with you anyway" conflict where they fall in love on the last page. But the relationships now are so watered down. I remember reading this one novel where the hero and heroine had some potential for real conflict, but the author bypassed it and got them together by making her pregnant. I thought it was an easy way to get them together without delving into the conflict.

    I agree with you about writing. It does make me more aware of the conflicts in my own stories.

  2. I couldn't agree more! There is a certain lack of conflict in many of today's bestsellers and big names. Nice call.

    I'm hoping to step the conflict up a bit, myself. Here's to both of us!

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