Monday, March 3, 2008

Conflict vs conflict

This week I had another chapter in the ongoing discussion with my adult son aboujt conflict in books and in television. I'm always complaining to him that the minute I become emotionally attached to a couple in a televisions program, boom! the writers decide it's time to break them up. Then they take forever to get them back together...if indeed they do. I'm a Grey's Anatomy fan, so my heart has been following Meredith and derek (a/k/k Dr. Mcdreamy) and they are doing terrible things to that relationship, enough that it ruins the entire program for me. My son, of course, insists that the writers and producers don't think we can be happy withiout constant conflict.

Writers, on the other hand, have a bit more latitude, because there can be a definite conclusion, usually a happy one which is why I read and write romance. The happy couple is sure to break up. separate/ be in conflict when they meet, but by the time you read The End, the author has delivered you to a staisfying conclusion.

Most of the time.

I'm sure I'll never forgive Karen Slaughter for killing off her hero, Heffrey, in her Grant's County series after four books. I grieved as if I'd lost my own lover.

I don't believe 'art' requires a depressing ending or a depressing arc in a story, but of course that's just me. So tell me, everyone, what do you think? Does it bother you when television shows scramble relationships and drive you nuts? Does it bother you when authors kill off main characters? (James Patterson is another on famous for doing this?

Or is the conflict that is merely part of the journey to the end of the rainbow enough for you. Is the method used to bring about happiness enough to make the story interesting?

I'd lopve to know what y'all think, so please leave me a comment.


Mona Risk said...

Hi Judith,
You should have told me you're a fan of Gray's Anatomy. It's the only show I watch, and I wouldn't miss a single episode or rerun. When my kids asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said a tape of Gray's Anatomy. I love everyone of the heroes there.

Conflict is the only thing that make a good story according to many editors. I learned the hard way after many rejections that I had to plot the internal conflict of my hero and heroine before even starting to write a new story.

Teri Thackston said...

I'm with you, Judith. I enjoy conflict within the story but I need that HEA. I was so angry at the end of "Pay it Forward" and I refuse to see the movie
"Somersby". I want to feel happy when I close a book or end a movie.