Idea (the heart of your story) and Conflict (the fuel of your story)

Can you state the Kernel Idea for your book in one sentence?

Do you have conflict (at two levels: personal and plot) in every scene in your book?

Can you fill out a Conflict Box clearly identifying your protagonist and antagonist and the goals and the conflict that is keeping them from their goals?  Is the goal a concrete, external object (not motivation—too many people confuse the two).  Do you have inescapable conflict lock?  If you don’t you probably don’t have a story.

Go ahead:  Give it a shot:

I’m teaching an on-line course at Write It Forward featuring both idea and conflict.  The goal is for you to learn how to distill your story back to the Kernel Idea.  And then work out your Conflict Box.

Lessons are posted on-line on a Yahoo Loop for you to peruse at your own pace (and also put in a file folder as pdfs so you can download them).  You interact as much or as little as you desire.

The first lesson will be posted on 3 March and run for the entire month.  Sigh up here:

On other fronts, The ShelfLess Book: The Complete Digital Author is now available in all eBook formats and in print.  I’ll blog more about this next week, but it lays out everything we did from selling 347 eBooks in January of last year to 400,000 by the end of the year.

I’ve also begun guest blogging at Digital Book World.  It’s an interesting site where a lot of industry insiders post information, comments and interact.

And I guest blog once a month at WG2E on the fourth Sunday of the month.  This latest one is actually about ShelfLess.

And if that’s not enough, I’ve been blogging on Wednesday at Genreality and my thread has been on information to help you at conferences, including a recent post on pitching.

And now, back to the most important thing a writer has to do:  produce content.

But first, since it’s been a while, here’s the latest on Cool Gus and Sassy Becca hard at work.

Write It Forward.

About Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer is a NY Times Bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret (including commanding an A-Team) and the feeder of two Yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He's had over 60 books published including the #1 series Area 51, Atlantis and The Green Berets. Born in the Bronx, having traveled the world (usually not tourist spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife, and said labs, at Write on the River, TN.

Posted on February 26, 2012, in Write It forward and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I remember the very first time I heard you speak on Kernel Idea. It was a 2 hour pre-conference workshop and it was mind-blowing. It made so much sense to me and really freed up my mind to write. Now, the Conflict Box was a different story. I remember sitting in your small workshop and you made me go to the white board and write out my conflict box. Argh. I had the wrong Protagonist. How does one do that? Argh. But when I got home and started to apply it all, lots of things clicked.

  2. Hello Bob,

    I just started following, and the small bit I’ve read already has me hooked. I look forward to your updates and will scrounge some money together to do your online offerings.

  3. Reblogged this on Alchemy of the Word and commented:
    An exercise for the class…

  4. Reblogged this on A Teacher's Muse-Writing and Learning and commented:
    This is great advice, and something that I am going to take to heart from novel 2 to the end of time.

  5. Have followed your blog for awhile–admire your writing a lot–today, I signed up for your Conflict and Idea workshop. Am really excited. Thank you for offering the workshop at a more than reasonable rate. All you do is much appreciated.

  6. How much is the online course Bob?
    And also, can you give us a link for your blogging effort with digital world, pretty please?
    Thank you.
    Yvette Carol

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