I'm lucky enough to work with quite a few aspiring writers, many of whom are very talented and will undoubtedly get published. But there's one failing which a remarkable number share, and it always surprises me.
They don't relish conflict.
I've lost count of the number of times a row is brewing, or a fight, and the writer skips over it with a couple of bland references to words exchanged, or punches thrown, and then moves on in the story.
I have a simple piece of advice - stop that at once!
Like this sky from last week; savour the redness...
Conflict is a key part of writing. It's the culmination of many a story line and interaction between characters. And it adds real pace.
It's there to be maximised. Really explore the characters' motivations and reasons for the outburst. It can tell us so much about them.
And go through that fight, second by second, make it linger on the page and live in the mind. Such scenes offer the opportunity to become so memorable.
I've come to the conclusion that many writers skip over conflict because they're such kind and decent people. They don't like it in their everyday lives, so they don't want it in their stories.
But it's a must of writing that to really learn the craft you have to work hard at those areas you find the most difficult.
Which means relishing the conflict, to help you grow as a writer, and to give your stories the pace, drama and impact that they deserve.