Conflict in Writing

29 Nov


As I write this the day after Thanksgiving, I’m conflicted with whether to have pumpkin pie for breakfast.

It’s just one of many conflicts I battle with daily.

How about you?  Any conflicting feelings of late?

Thanks for being here.  Let’s take a little closer look at the subject of conflict.


“If you actually succeed in creating a utopia, you’ve created a world without conflict, in which everything is perfect. And if there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading!” Veronica Roth

Conflict!  Stories are propelled by conflict. We all know that, but one aspect of conflict many writers fail to utilize is the conflict within the main characters.  Think about this: the most compelling characters in literary history are those who are driven by conflicting desires.  Our lives are defined by competing desires….conflict….a fact that is the base of every moral system recognized by man.town_893

Conflict!  Are your characters conflicted?

Let’s move on to other business.


From Stephanie:  “Hi Billy, I’m “rebooting” after slowing down on my writing efforts. Thank goodness I’m still subscribed to your blog. Anyway, at you can sign up for a free webinar titled “How to Write a Personal Essay That Sells”. It’s on Tues Dec 6 at 2pm EST. I thought your readers might like to know.”

Well, Stephanie, I found that information useful and interesting, so thank you. Hopefully others out there will at least check it out on for more information.


“Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose” is due to be published next week.  Yes, it will be both in hard copy and Kindle form, both available on Amazon.  This is the third in the Shadows series, following “Shadows Kill” and “Shadows Over Innocence,” and it is by far the best to date, he said shyly.  LOL  It would, in my humble opinion, make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves thrillers/mysteries, but then I might be a bit biased.  By the way, unlike James Patterson, I write the entire book myself.town_881

I’ve got this little problem with James Patterson lately.  Can you tell?  I doubt seriously if he cares one way or another.


Are you into inspirational? If so, check out my friend Maria Jordon on her inspirational blog.  You can find it here.  Some blogs are written simply to make us feel good about life and ourselves, and this is one of those blogs, written by one of the truly nice people in this world.  Do me a personal favor and go say hello to Maria.


Crowdfunding has been around quite a few years now, and it is still a very popular way of financing a book.  For those interested, Kickstarter is still the most popular of the crowdfunding sites, but you also might want to check out Indiegogo, Publishizer, and Publaunch if this seems like something you want to try.


Someone asked me recently in an email (she didn’t want her question in the Mailbag) if there were alternatives for those who want to go the self-publishing route but not use Createspace.

Oh my goodness yes!  Check out Balboa Press, Archway Publishing, Authorhouse, Infinity Publishing, or Lulu, to name just a few options.


I don’t know why the passage of time seems so important to me lately, but it does, and I can’t believe December has arrived.

Perhaps, and I suspect this has a great deal to do with the fascination, I’m feeling my own mortality of late.  Time moves much too quickly when one realizes that time is a limited commodity for each of us.

Have a great week and thank you!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” #greatestunknownauthor


30 Responses to “Conflict in Writing”

  1. Janine Huldie November 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    Bill, I have no more pumpkin pie left, but still have some oatmeal cookies left. So, I had one of them with my breakfast this morning if I confess. But tis the season, I suppose. Now, I am busy writing and keeping busy on this cold, rainy day here in NY. Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday ahead though, as well!! 🙂

    • Billybuc November 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

      Janine, like taxes and death, I can always count on your being here, and for that I am very grateful. Right about now an oatmeal cookie sounds darn good. 🙂 Happy Tuesday, my friend. Stay warm!

  2. Mike November 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    Hi Bill – Another Thanksgiving put into the history books. No we face the conflict of Christmas.

    • Billybuc November 29, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

      The perfect description of Christmas, Mike, at least for me. 🙂 Thanks for being here, my friend.

  3. Christy B November 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    How exciting about Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose publishing next week! Please can you include a include a link to it in a blog post after it publishes so that I can get a copy? I’m so excited for you, and you deserve the slice of pumpkin pie 🙂

    • Billybuc November 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

      I will do that for sure, Christy. Thank you! The pie is all gone, I’m afraid, but there’s still some chocolate in the house. 🙂

  4. Lawrence Hebb November 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

    I didn’t know that about James Patterson! Not going to follow that model☺
    Veronica Roth got it right, she’s got some very ‘conflicted’ characters in her books.

    • Billybuc November 29, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      yes, Lawrence, I have a very hard time with that Patterson model. It seems to me he’s cheating his readers, who pay good money for a book written by HIM!

      Thanks for being here, my friend.


  5. marlenebertrand November 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    My husband might have every book James Patterson wrote. One of my husband’s main criticisms is the fact that Mr. Patterson now has a writing crew writing his books for him. I don’t read much of Patterson’s work, but my husband says the style is much different now. I prefer to read obscure titles by excellent authors. I don’t mind that they are not well-known so long as they write well. With the lesser-known authors, there is an ability to develop a personal connection with the writer. I don’t know why that is important to me. As quirky as it is, I like being familiar with the writer beyond the little bio that is written on the back of the book.

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      Well, Marlene, I’m happy it is important to you, since I’m about as obscure as they come. I consider you one of my biggest fans and I will always be grateful for you.

  6. Audrey Howitt November 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    This may sound odd, but did you work your document in Word and then load it into Amazon??? I am confused by this whole process!

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      Not odd at all, Audrey. Yes, I did it on Word and then downloaded on Amazon. It’s really a very easy process. The proof of that is that I was able to do it correctly. 🙂

  7. Michael Milec November 30, 2016 at 2:19 am #

    I created my world perfect (with conflict) in the beginning, now I am gradually disentangling it “Staying faithful to the end’, as expected by the One who sends.
    This is becoming a long and interesting journey.
    Stay well, stay blessed my friend.

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

      And Michael my friend, here’s hoping it will be a much longer journey, for both of us. Life is a wonderful mystery, my friend.

      blessings always

  8. 1authorcygnetbrown November 30, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    You were talking about alternatives to Createspace, I have used Lulu for years. Once I started using Createspace, but found that I still prefer Lulu. I love print on demand!

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

      Thanks for weighing in on that, Donna. I used Lulu once and found it to be very easy to use.

  9. phoenix2327 November 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Pumpkin pie for breakfast??? Really??? Seriously??? How is that a conflict? I thought everybody had pumpkin pie for breakfast. Or is it just me? Anyway, have that pumpkin pie. Have two, if you fancy. Life’s too short to agonize over such an obvious choice. 🙂

    Sadly, my 2nd pumpkin pie didn’t survive. I was growing fuzz so I had to bin it. Luckily the cheesecake is holding up well. Hope your Thanksgiving was joyful.

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

      Zulma, we had a nice Thanksgiving, thank you. Fuzz? That just means the chickens get a treat. 🙂

  10. Chris Desatoff November 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    Hey Bill,

    Pumpkin pie for breakfast…

    In the immortal words of Darth Vader,

    “There is no conflict.”

    Congrats on the new book!

    • Billybuc November 30, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

      Thanks, Chris! I hope this finds you well, my friend.

  11. marcoujor December 1, 2016 at 12:47 am #

    You are the sweetest thing – thanks for the shout out. Speaking of inspiration, thanks to YOU, dear friend. Love, Maria

    • Billybuc December 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      My pleasure, Maria!


  12. Sageleaf December 1, 2016 at 2:20 am #

    Okay, I was holding the refrigerator this morning seriously considering apple pie to go with my tea. I resisted. But I can’t guarantee that tomorrow morning. I didn’t have it for dessert tonight. 😉
    Congrats on the new book! I haven’t put mine in hardcover, yet, but don’t worry: I’ll send you a free copy of the new one I’m working on. 🙂 Honestly, I wanted that one (and the second one) to be my “practice” novels. To know that I could do it. There may or may not be other authors out there who would do something similar, but…
    I did that in college, too. I went to a college that had a block plan – 1 course at a time for 3.5 weeks. I worked and worked and couldn’t get a great GPA. I was solidly a 3.0. Ugh. I wasn’t used to that because I used to pride myself on being an overachiever. So…after graduating, I went back. For a second bachelor’s on the regular semester system. I LOVED it. I felt much more successful.
    Yeah…see? Those first attempts are always me building confidence. And writing this, I realize that’s what I had been doing with my coupla websites. Third time’s the charm, me thinks. But who cares? What if it took five or six times? At least I didn’t give up. I’m enjoying the journey. (Though having it be more fruitful is always a nice goal, lol).
    I’m rambling. But well…what can I say? Who just doesn’t LOVE to write? HA!

    • Sageleaf December 1, 2016 at 2:20 am #

      OMG…I was holding the DOOR! The refrigerator door! (My inner-editor was getting drunk on apple pie.)

      • Billybuc December 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        LOL…I figured it out.

    • Billybuc December 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      Lil Sis, we writers always ramble, except, for me, when I’m speaking. Then it’s hard to get ten words out of me. LOL No, you didn’t give up, and i love your determination. I can’t wait to read your novel. Thank you and hugs from chilly Olympia.

  13. Melanie December 2, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Just got my daily fix of “Bill’s writing inspiration” and now it feels like Friday! Thanks friend for these posts…. it’s been a crazy couple of weeks here; stressful and just the general end of year mania. Looking forward to having some downtime these holidays to just write and write and get creative.

    Hmmm… I haven’t enjoyed James Patterson’s last few books to be honest. It doesn’t feel like his first few – those were good: Four Blind Mice, Jack & Jill, the first Alex Cross books. I don’t buy his books anymore because of that.

    Have a wonderful weekend Bill. 🙂

    • Billybuc December 2, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

      Exactly, Mel! Those first books were very good but then, it was Patterson writing them all, too. Go figure!

      Rest up, Mel, and I hope these holidays bring you happiness and peace of mind.

  14. Shauna L Bowling December 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    Pumpkin pie sounds like the perfect choice for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!

    Funny, I’ve never read any of James Patterson’s books. I guess his titles never enticed me to pick one up and read the back to see what they are about.

    • Billybuc December 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      I actually read a few of Patterson’a earlier works, and they were quite good. I think that’s one reason I’m so disappointed in him now…not that he cares much what I think, Sha. 🙂

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