Does it work for children's authors?
I write books for ages 9 to 12, so I look at writing tools with that audience in mind. While working on the fourth book in my Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale series, I took an early review copy of The Conflict Thesaurus for a test drive.
My story has something to do with friendship and rules and the conflicts between them. I browsed The Conflict Thesaurus for help:
- Breaking the Law for a Good Reason
- Having to Steal to Obtain Something Vital
- Making a Discovery that Threatens the Bond of Friendship–Bingo, Bingo Bingo!!!!
- Needing to Sabotage Someone to Win
- Bureaucracy Tying One’s Hands
- Having to Punish Someone–Yes, this is going to be SO hard on Vlad!
- Having to Hurt Someone to Save Them from a Worse Fate–Ohh!!! This one looks like a winner!
In each entry, I highlighted anything I thought would apply to my main character.
His nickname is Vlad, the ultimate ruler. He’s an eleven-year-old prince and is expected to grow up to be the judge for the High Court in the Seven Kingdoms.
Each conflict includes the following sections:
- Minor Complications
- Potentially Disastrous Result
- Resulting Emotions
- Possible Internal Struggles
- Negative Traits That May Worsen the Situation
- Impact on Basic Needs (This includes a short description of how the conflict might affect Self-Actualization, Esteem and Recognition, Love and Belonging, Safety and Security)
- Positive Traits to Help the Character Cope
- Positive Outcomes
Obviously, there’s no way to use all of this in one story. Anything that made my main character come alive got a highlight. I like to export my highlights from my ereader and paste them into Scrivener.
Instant plot ideas list! Banish writer’s block at your house. 🙂
What did I find?
Fresh plot twists, potential antagonists, emotions for a highly-charged moment, character reactions to draw the reader in, and deep-seated motivations to help Vlad grow into a hero the reader could love and admire.
Excuse me, I have to go write a scene I’m kind of excited by . . .