View Full Version : Lesson THree: Emotion, Emotion and the Internal/External Conflict!

August 6th, 2007, 01:40 PM
Cming in just a few minutes. To see why I'm stalling: http://whitewolfwriting.blogspot.com has the details!

But this lesson we'll cover today and for the next day or two will cover why the Male deals differently with conflict than our Female as well as what drives him towards his goal.

Stay tuned!


Nicole Gestalt
August 6th, 2007, 06:12 PM
I hope your feeling slightly better!

August 6th, 2007, 07:22 PM
What creates the emotions felt by your Male? Obviously if there’s nothing wrong with his life or he’s never been wronged, then he’s probably happy and that hero SUCKS! That’s not to say a happy male is a bad thing. It’s a rather blessed thing *g*

Anyone guess the answer?

CONFLICT! Internal and External. A few more definitions:

External Conflict: An outside struggle between your character and another force

Internal Conflict: an internal struggle between your character and himself

The Internal Conflict will drive our Hero the same as any other character but what is different about his reaction is that is unknowingly having to prove himself to some unknown force, probably the Standard of which men before him lived, implanted in him by his father or other Great Men if he should look up to them.

What typically happens is that in the Jaded Hero’s Journey, something bad happens to produce his internal conflict. The Loss of Something Great occurs and the Jaded hero chooses that moment to hold onto. This is necessary for the stages of grief, but because of the pressure put upon him by Society or Other Influences, The Hero becomes stuck. For whatever reason, he continues to live this way. Never prodded by anyone but perhaps a mother or an occasional girlfriend, he accepts his fate as what it is. Something else happens to shock our Hero and BAM, his old way of being is no longer working.

That reason that our Hero becomes stuck is what he believes motivates him to function the way he does.

Fear of Loss of something Great is more powerful than trying to accept what has to be accepted.

The Hero, believing he can avoid fear of loss, settles into a regimen of control. He controls everything, his actions, his emotions, his friends to some extent and anything else he can control in order to protect himself.
When the woman shows up and reveals his true Motivation, that’s when things get messed up. In an effort to satisfy his Male Desires (sex drive) he may do typical male things, become controlling and show off his “power” to everyone around him. Even in the face of danger, as we see with typical Christine Feehan Carpathian Men, they still appear controlling even when they are DEAD WRONG!! Men Do NOT WANT to lose that Precious Gift given to them.

The Hero in his blindness refuses to see the Heroine for what she is, a fully capable human being with strengths of her own, and a journey of her own to fulfill. Once he can accept her for what she is, then he can begin to let the walls internally crumble.

I’m not going to outlay the stages of either journey, one because there are many different opinions on how many stages in the Hero’s Journey there are, and Two: I haven’t asked Morgan Hawke if I could use her material to present the Heroine’s journey.

When the Heroine acts on her own, trusting herself and has proven to the Hero she is capable, and he realizes what he truly needs (his motive) then he can let go of the old pattern of Being that’s held him down and disallowed him forward movement/growth.

But Sascha, how do we get him there?

Glad you asked!

August 6th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Your plot with the Heroine’s journey already worked in should help him. He must react (not respond) to her situation. Your typical plot:

Boy Meets Girl (Hey, you’re hot!)
Boy and Girl are thrown together for a common purpose (Let’s have sex, but afterwards, help me defeat this enemy)
Boy and Girl part for differences (She says: You controlling jerk/He says: you’re stubborn and gonna get hurt!)
Boy saves girl (or vice versa, which has happened in my vampire/wolf novels a LOT)
Common Enemy is defeated by both Boy and Girl, who have found new strengths, let go of old weaknesses. (Damn, we’re good together now that our heads aren’t up our a**)
HEA (Ding Dong, wedding bells maybe?)

Somewhere in that mess I just wrote, you must figure out even if it’s not told in the story directly, what the problem is that your Hero is going to have and amplify that problem if you’re going to make him Jaded. His problems in reality are no different than Hers, the change comes in how he deals with them until his method of Being no longer works.

So how do you figure out what’s going on in his head? When you’ve filled out the wonderful CHARACTER OUTLINE!

Muhahahaha! :arghhhh:

But that post I’ll save for tomorrow.

As an FYI, I plan to post roughly around the same time every day, about Noon or so California time.

Your homework today: Give me some Hero from your story and what his internal conflict, external conflict are and what the event was that made him who he is when we meet him.

I’ll play too:

Joséf from ENDANGERED (soon to be re-released, right Chai? *snicker*) A former cop who has taken the law into his own hands and decided to wage war on The Syndicate, a large crime organization.

External Conflict: The Syndicate, rogue vampires and The queen of the Night

Internal Conflict: His true nature. Joséf is fighting a war with himself where he’d rather just lay down and die.

What made him the way he is when you meet him? A slow bureaucratic mess, the loss of his father at a young age, lack of knowledge of his mother

Nicole Gestalt
August 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Ok well I'll talk about my hero Mark from Summer of Fire (http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Summer+of+Fire+by+Nicole+Gestalt)

External conflict: He finds himself having feelings for a woman which is the first time since he lost his wife in a fire.

Internal Conflict: He still loves his dead wife, and feels guilty that he couldn't save her.

D.N. Lyons
August 6th, 2007, 09:24 PM

External conflict - He's falling in love with Mars :tt1:

Internal conflict - He's Mars' teacher

Event: His father left him at an early age


External conflict - He's falling in love with Neptune :tt1:

Internal conflict - He's being judged and abused by his father

Event: His father has raised him to fear Neptune

August 7th, 2007, 08:28 AM
Going with my vampire Georges Belleveau again.

His internal conflicts: The main one across all his stories is keeping the monster in him at bay.

In other stories it's the conflict of falling in love knowing that the consequences of his lover finding out what he is could be fatal to both of them. Also, she gets caught in his conflicts just by being involved with him.

External conflicts: In the story Black it's a group of genetically engineered supermen on a genocidal quest.

In Abyss it's a sorceress drunk with the power that being able to summon and control demons has granted her.

In Embrace it's a Russian pimp who's pissed at Georges for freeing a young girl who worked for him from his influence.

In You Can't Go Home Again one external conflict is an old enemy of his lover. The other is trying to keep the secret of what he is and she's become from her parents.

August 7th, 2007, 03:29 PM
This is the basic form I use to create my characters.

Character Description:
Motive (Emotional need):
Goal (Physical need):
External Conflict (physical):
Internal Conflict (emotional):
Positive Trait:
Negative Trait:
Fatal Flaw:
Epiphany (Lesson learned, changes made?):

Designation – Emotional or Motive driven
Motive – What they really need
Goal – what they THINK they want
Fatal Flaw – Achilles heal
Secret – The lie they tell themselves to get by

Using this simple character outline, the only thing I could think to add would be if your character has a back-story, maybe you’d like to jot it down. Just copy and past this into a Word document, save as a template and you’re ready to start making your heroes with more information.

This seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? Compared to the huge outlines some authors use, this is the one I use to make my characters come off the pages. Putting emotion into them is easy when you remember the internal conflict is what drives him truly, but external conflict must be solved as the Hero believes that by solving the External Conflict, they will achieve their goal.

Make sense?

Let’s talk about Designation for a moment. Typically your Heroine is going to be the one who is emotionally driven. The stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. Our Hero, Jaded or not, will be more Motive driven. His way of Being will work in conjunction with his desire to achieve what he thinks he wants. But that’s off balance because he’s generally acting on all the information and utilizing only half of his resources.
Emotions make us stop and think, sometimes for too long, but sometimes just long enough. There has been proof that our emotions are linked to our thoughts, our instincts.

Most men, especially those in high stress situations are taught to ignore their emotions. Emotions will get you killed is the mantra preached. Probably true for many. The Male Mind is a powerful tool just as is the Female Mind, yet the difference is in what’s processed. Again, background of your character helps set this tone for his Being when we meet him.
At the end of our stories, we want (traditionally) a HEA. Right? Well that would mean bringing the Hero around full circle. He starts off with just instinct, distrust, action driven by his Goal. The Heroine in our stories is traditionally led by her Emotions and is Emotionally driven, even if she’s in a high stress situation such as a military action. No amount of brainwashing can undo (IMO) DNA wiring.

The positive and negative traits in our Hero are no different than with our Heroine. Many Heroes are loyal to a fault, others are shall we say, crafty? Still others have negative traits such as an insatiable lust for women. (Clouded judgment)

The negative trait could be an extension of the Fatal Flaw, but why not make it something different as to give our hero more depth?

That Fatal Flaw is usually going to be the ONE THING designed in your story’s plot to bring the Hero to a stand still in his present way of being. With Endangered Joséf is my alpha to be over a pack of wolves yet he’s unaware until our Heroine shows him his truth. His fatal flaw is that he has a weakness for protecting those who cannot protect themselves. His negative trait is that he has adopted an addictive personality and as a result, is addicted to booze, the drug he’s been trying to stop the spread of, and now death.

When dealing with Epiphany, we need to figure out what the tape in our Hero’s head is. For Joséf, it’s “I must protect all I can then die because I am unloved and alone.” Livía shows him that the tape is wrong and gives him a new way to Be, though it’s a struggle.

The next lesson will be relatively short but will deal with Feeling the Story from your Hero’s POV. We’ve talked enough about his state of mind, emotional behavior and limiting beliefs by now that you should be pretty familiar with how he thinks and would react so that writing him is easier. But we’re still not finished if we have to write the entire novel in his POV.

Everybody having fun yet? Karenne? *snicker*