Does anyone else feel like me about this writing lark - that you just think you've cracked an area you were struggling with when something else pops up that you'd never even thought about?
A message from the M&B editorial staff on the How to Write a Modern Romance thread of the Mills and Boon Community (link on my list for those of you who've not found your way there yet) has given me a bit of an 'aargh' moment:
"conflicts can become cliches if they are used to create a character. For this reason it helps to start by seeing the characters clearly in your mind as they exist in the present - not by seeing their conflicts first. Once they are real to you, you are free to wonder (in the way we often do with new people) - how did they become the person that they are? In fiction, as in real life, the answer to that question is never simple!"
I'd been feeling quite pleased with myself that I'd finally started thinking about my internal conflicts before my external setup but I can see how easily I could end up making my characters about their conflict and nothing else.
Hmm, so much to think about. Wish I could accelerate the learning curve and get there more quickly, need a turbo-charged literary skateboard. Failing that I'll have to stick to trawling blogs, forums and writing sites and learn the hard way...