Tag Archive | conflict

If You Know Something’s Wrong…

Go with your gut instinct. At least for me, I have to do this with my writing.

I have a lot of ghostly stuff in my story–the heroine and her sisters see ghosts, so it’s part of who she is. Can’t help it. I can’t ignore that’s what she does, and they’ve been in 2 Silver Town stories, so I can’t do away with it. Why would I be concerned about it? My editor doesn’t like ghosts.

I need to work on the romance and show them having fun early on. And I added a wolf beginning to show they were shifters. But…I had to show the crux of the problem right away too… And that means the hero has to do his job–he’s a sheriff. There’s a little bit of secrecy on both characters’ parts, but when you can explain it in a conversation to each other, and everything can be worked out that way–then end of conflict.

At the International Wolf Center–the conflict begins: Denali starting to show his teeth and then full on teeth display and at that point, Grayson looks away to show he’s backing down. This was over a beaver they’d been giving for enrichment. Denali is 10 and Grayson is only 2, but Axel, Grayson’s brother, is becoming the emergent leader. He wouldn’t let anyone get near the beaver until he had his fill. Now Denali is taking his turn. Denali’s brother, Aidan, has always been the leader, but he just slept while the others were establishing hierarchy.

Romantic characters need conflict. Not just an argument between two people who disagree, but something that goes deeper–to the root of that persons’ beliefs. Now, I’ve already given them the deeper roots, and then allowed them to say it was fine with them.

I really have this issue of not liking to have conflict between my romantically-inclined characters. And yet, it could be the perfect issue of conflict between them. So I’m going to just have to toughen up and have them deal with the bone of contention between them. It’s something that is key to the wolves’ beliefs, so not something that is human-related. It helps to make this story different. Both have done something that can jeopardize that–only very much different from each other. So they would be the perfect conflicts. I just have to go back in and rewrite it to make it work. 🙂

So then I had a light bulb go off this morning. I find it’s best if the bad guy has a tie in with the good guys somehow that makes everything a lot more personal. I can’t plot this stuff for the life of me, but all of a sudden, the light bulb literally went on, and I had it. So now the rogue wolf is integral to the story, not just an outsider running through their lives.

Okay, before I forget what I’m supposed to do, I’ve got to write. Hope you have no conflict in your romantically-inclined lives! Have a lovely day!!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
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signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Birds NOT of a Feather

cardinal and blackbird flying to join him (640x427)In writing, we show action, then reaction. So when I saw the cowbird blackbird coming in for a landing, I figured the cardinal would fly right off. Blackbirds are known to be intimidating. This one is a female.

blackbird settling on seeds with cardinal (640x427) (2)Here she is settling down. Just like in our books, we should have unexpected twists and turns. For me, this meant the cardinal didn’t immediately fly off, but watched the blackbird settle on the feeder.

blackbird and cardinal at a standoff (640x427)Can you tell by the body posture that the blackbird is intimidating the male cardinal? He has his seed in his bill still, and he’s pondering leaving his find.  he doesn’t want to, but he’s still thinking about it.

cardinal flying away (640x427)With seed in bill, he takes off and the blackbird ignores him, the stare down working perfectly.

That was the black moment. Stay and eat more seed and ignore her, or intimidate her right back, or fly away with the last of the seeds he’d gathered, calling it a day.

This shows characterization. Oh, bird experts might say this shows bird behavior. But I assert it also shows characterization. Another male cardinal would have left the seed cache as soon as the blackbird came in for a landing. He stuck it out, thought it over, and decided to cut his losses.

Sometimes that’s what needs to be done. But if we want it enough, just like our lead character wants his or her objective enough, he will stay and win the day. Then again, this may have been the way for him to win the day. It all depends on how he feels about it. Defeated? Or a winner?

My daughter is a dietician at a big school district and numerous schools participated in a vegetable picture contest. I saw the top two contestants creations and they were great. Did the kids actually create them? Maybe, or maybe they had a LOT of help. And a lot of votes from the parents who were executives who could push more votes. We saw this when my daughter was in Girl Scouts and any number of other competitions.

But what’s important? Winning first place? Or doing it yourself and feeling good about yourself? Both parents were in an uproar bashing the other parent because of their positions in society–he’s going to win because of who he is. She’s going to win because of who she is. Wait! Where are the kids in the equation? When we write children’s books, young adult books, the kids have to accomplish whatever their goal is. Who wants to hear that junior’s dad saved the day? Then it’s the dad’s story, not junior’s.

When I was a teen in home economics, had to take it back then, I learned to sew. My mother and grandmother didn’t sew. That meant I had no help at home. I picked the simplest dresses I could make because we had to do this on our own, and then we had to wear one of them in a fashion contest. Some of the girls had mothers who really sewed and they were making dresses with jackets and though I was envious I didn’t have the fancy outfits like theirs, I was always really proud of myself for making my own clothes without any help from anyone. The “A” I got was for me, not anyone else.

Sugar Plum Fairy-15 inch Mohair

Sugar Plum Fairy-15 inch Mohair

And from that little beginning, I eventually created bears that won all kinds of awards and were featured in magazines and newspapers, including Texas Monthly!

So I’m proud of the cardinal. He made his choice, his alone, no one to help him out, and to me, he won, seed in bill, and he’ll return again soon.

Have a great day and always give it your best shot–that’s all we can ever do. And don’t put too much stock in what others are doing. It’s your journey, your way.


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears.com



Conflict! Conflict! Conflict!

Dragonfly Blue

I’ve been so busy with writing books, deadlines, making bears, taking pictures, 🙂 that I haven’t been teaching too many full-class online workshops, except on an individual basis. A publisher signed up seventeen of her authors to take my conflict course, so I’m happily critiquing student exercises.

Not all writers can teach. Not all teachers can teach. But ever since I was a kid, I wanted to teach. When I was in 6th grade, I was in Teachers of Tomorrow, and taught a class on artwork to 2nd graders and to 3rd graders later. It was a fun experience, and I always thought I’d be a teacher.

My dad discouraged it because there was no money in teaching, he said. So after getting a masters in business and accounting, working as a personnel officer, and doing so many different things, I started teaching writers how to hone their writing.

And I love it. But I’d kind of gotten away from it because I’ve been so busy with writing.

One of the things that I love about teaching, is it reminds me how to edit my own work as I’m critiquing. Wow, am I doing all the things I tell others to do???

🙂  <3

So I’m off to critique some more lessons, loving it, and still trying to get my word count in for A Silver Wolf Christmas! I reached 40,000 words last night, which means I’m halfway done, and worked on 3 bears!!!

Suzie, Too, Poodle Skirt Bear dressed for the 50s

Suzie, Too, Poodle Skirt Bear dressed for the 50s

New poodle skirt bear for that fun-loving 1950’s era!

Off to catch up on student lessons than word count.

Have a great Monday!!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:

Wilde & Woolly Bears


Cooking and Doing Edits at the Same Time Can Be Dangerous!

You know I do all this stuff to give you a laugh, right? To give me more fodder for a story, right? I don’t do it just for fun. 🙂 I do it with purpose!

First off, the setting:

It’s a cool, windy day, so not quite yet warm out. This is good in that it means the bugs are still at bay. My birds are happily eating at the feeders, not paying any attention to me and my pending disaster. This is the foreshadowing of conflict. Just in case you were already tired of the boringness of this post. Notice, boringness is not a word. As an author, I can take liberties with made-up words. It’s like James Bond having a license to kill.

But I digress. I usually bake something. Just set on the timer, the meal is done when it’s done. Eventually I pry myself away from writing or edits and go check on it. It’s usually still fairly hot.

Rarely, I fry something unless it’s leftovers and I don’t want to just reheat it. So I’ll make something special like roast beef hash.

Usually, I set the heat on low because I forget when I’m writing  or editing. And I try to remember to check on it, or sometimes boil another cup of hot tea and wait for the stuff to finish cooking. I really hate to wait on anything. I want action. I want to get more editing or writing done. Staring at food cooking or water boiling doesn’t do a thing for me.

Now, I was impatient. So I put it on medium heat, not a smart thing to do. All protagonists should have faults, and impatience is apparently one of mine. I’m not saying it always is though. I can be really patient about a lot of stuff. I just do other things and then no problem. So I’m not sure what clued me in. Maybe the slight odor of smoke? Hate smoke. It makes me ill. So any hint of it, and I usually notice. I have the door to the rest of the house closed, so it would have blocked the smoke for a time.

I rush through the house to the kitchen, choking on smoke, really, really a lot of smoke. Not exaggerating here. And the frying pan has flames all around the lid of the pan. They’re too  high to reach the lid and close it all the way.

But that is one way to douse the flames, cut off the oxygen.  I immediately turned off the stove, and moved the pan off the heat. Now, they say not to move a pan because you could splash burning oil all over you and that would be worse. The oil was only a thin layer, so it was too low in the pan, and mostly burned up to worry about.

I ran through the house to get the baking soda. That will also put out flames, BUT, it takes a lot of it, and I threw some on it, but couldn’t douse the flames because the pan’s lid covered most of the oil I would have needed to reach.

Now, I have to again mention the horrendous amount of smoke in the house. The oil burned off shortly after that since there wasn’t a whole lot to begin with, but then I was trying to as quickly as I could, open windows, the front door, the back door, turning all the fans on as I went.

I scared off a big old hawk sitting on the telephone pole and as I’m trying to catch fresh breaths of air, I’m thinking how much I wished I’d gotten a photo of him!

Remember my eau de skunk post? Well, guess what? The next thing I know, I’m smelling skunk. LOL

They say not to take the pan outside, again for the danger that you could splash burning hot oil on yourself. But after I opened all the windows, I took the pan outside, and made the dumb mistake of opening up the lid. What was inside? A whole bunch of smoke, which I promptly inhaled. And choked on.

Nothing was left in the pan but burned-to-a-crisp potatoes–or Cajun style, blackened.

I hadn’t put the roast beef chunks in, so… I had those cold. And that was the rather unappealing lunch I had.  And I’m back to baking in the future. This was a picture I took of a Japanese cook who makes fires on purpose. Not something I would do!!!! Just for clarification.

flames hibachi (486x640)

So… are you entertained???

Do you ever burn up your food???

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male!”