Character and Conflict-keeping the shapeshifter pages turning.

July 14, 2008 at 8:14 am (General)

Sometimes as a writer I get caught up in the words on the page and forget what it is that keeps readers glued to a story and turning the pages until well after the midnight oil has burned out.  It is the essence of what makes story–interesting characters and compelling conflicts.  In real life, I often tend to avoid conflicts, so it is an ironic twist of fate that conflict is an essential part of what I love to do.  I often have to go back and rewrite a story, asking myself over and over again like a Wendy’s Hamburger commercial gone bad.   “Where’s the conflict?  Where’s the conflict?”  WTC rather than WTF.  I LIKE being Polyanna and have a hard time torturing my characters and have to constantly smack myself.  Well all of this was to bring up the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward.  The lady keeps conflict between her edgy characters and between her good and evil factions wound so tightly that you think you’re going to explode before you finish the book.  So I have to say Kudos to her.

Currently I am still in the midst of revisions for my April 09 release KISS OF DARKNESS.  I am having to go back through the story and ask that “WTC” question.  So if you’re a writer, ask yourself that question with every page, conversation, or scene.  If you’re a reader tell me about what shapeshifter conflicts you’ve loved reading about the most.

In my paranormal shadowmen series, my first two heros were werewolves with different conflicts.  Jared in Touch A Dark Wolf was poisoned by the damned and had to fight a growing evil within himself that made him want to kill what he’d spent his lifetime to protect–the woman he loves.  Aragon in Lure of the Wolf faces a different challenge, failing his brethren, he commits himself to a doomed fate in order to restore honor to his brethren.  Only after his path to death is set, does he find love.  In Kiss of Darkness, my hero Sam, a human who is infected by vampirism must fight for his soul as he fights his desperate desire to damn the woman he loves to the same fate as his.

It takes time to bring conflicts to the surface, but the payoff is well worth the price.

Here's the cover for my April book

Here's the cover for my April book

   Happy Hot Summer Reading and don’t forget to share with me so of your fav shapeshifter Conflicts.

Jennifer St. Giles.



  1. teresadamario said,

    Jennifer, you are so right! I have to say I have more conflict than my poor characters can handle in my work in progress ,and in Tigress, the conflict is not only the internal differences, but the danger they face, both together and apart.

    Kiss of darkness looks AWESOME by the way! 🙂

  2. sidhevicious said,

    Kiss Of Darkness sounds great! I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂

    I too am a huge fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books. I love when I can’t stop turning the pages because the tension is so thick, you just have to keep reading to find out what happens.

    Another new series that is like that is Gena Showalter’s Lords Of The Underworld: The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss and The Darkest Pleasure. I’m halfway through the third one, and let me tell you, if you’re a JR Ward fan, then definitely pick these books up!

  3. Caffey said,

    Hi Jennifer! I posted about your books not long ago on my blog because I so love Gothic romances and so great to read yours! They are hard to come by! Oh I’ve enjoyed the first book in your series, TOUCH OF A DARK WOLF! Yes, reading through the story of the conflict and too resolving that through the story as too, the romance growing and too conflicts there, are what keeps me glued to your books. I love how they grow through the book. I need to put the second book right here on my books to read next. I think the cover for KISS OF DARKNESS is so great, the colors of the blue with the wolf gray and ivory moon blends so great together.

  4. Savanna Kougar said,

    Your cover is beautiful and KISS OF DARKNESS looks great.
    I think I’m going to be the shapeshifting fly in the ointment today.
    Conflict is essential. That said, I’m a bit burnt out with the amount of angst and what I call over-conflict in some stories. It’s always like walking the balance beam for each story between the light and the dark elements…JMHO…

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