Thursday, April 22, 2010


Below is an excerpt from William Noble's Conflict, Action, & Suspense:

  • Happy families are dull
  • Unhappy families are interesting
Why the difference? It's the distinction between losing yourself in a crowd and maintaining individuality, between wearing a common blue uniform and wearing the only red uniform on the field.

I was perusing through this book the other day and this excerpt hit home for me. I had been struggling with the family dynamics of my main character for quite some time. For some reason, I kept making the grandfather too nice and the mom nothing short of super woman. Sure they had their secrets. But secrets aren't enough to make a family interesting. But when I read unhappy families are interesting it set off a chain of events in my imagination that created a family of three that were at odds with each other. And that's when the writing started to fly.

Sometimes you just don't know what will set off the creative juices.

Happy Writing Folks!


  1. This is part of the reason I decided to make my MC's family be such crap in Callarion at Night. I've added in an argument with her dad that allowed me to draw out more anxiety in my MC for her return home.

  2. If it weren't for my dysfunctional family and strange childhood, I'd have little inspiration! Seriously, sometimes we love our MC and want to make life easy for him or her, but the more challenges, the richer the story.

  3. Matt- I love how you so delicately said your MC's family is crap.It made me laugh.
    Theresa- I agree that challenges keep things interesting