I had what I hope is a breakthrough on the internal conflict in Luk and Emma’s story today, while idly throwing around ideas for conflict in new stories during my commute.
I finally figured it out. I’ve been over-complicating things.
I’d given Luk too many conflicts, and stayed superficial with all of them. What he needs is just one conflict, but one that runs deep. That instantly gives it the importance to him that was lacking.
I can take out the cliches of the abandoning mother and the gold-digger first girlfriend who broke his heart. I can put back the bossy older sisters who I really didn’t want to cut. It give a nice echo of the past to the story too, as Luk’s life choices echo Emma’s grandfather’s, up to a point.
This is just what I hoped would happen when I spent some time focused on cooking up a new idea but with their story still simmering away in the background.
Now I just have to write it!