Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Time to be Tough By Patti Jo Moore

If someone used only one word to describe you, what do you think that word might be? Talented? Funny? Kind? Outgoing?

I can guarantee that one word that would not be used to describe me is TOUGH. 😉

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was a kindergarten teacher in my other life (before writing full-time) and I absolutely loved working with young children. I especially loved working with them when they were nice to each other, and I didn’t need to intervene with little talks about the importance of playing nicely, sharing, and treating others the way we want to be treated.

Maybe that mindset of “wanting everyone to get along” is why I struggle with adding conflict in my stories. Yes, I know that without conflict and strife in our characters’ lives, there’s not really a story (or one that others want to read!). And even though I’ve been writing a while, I still find it difficult to - - as one of my author friends phrased it - - “be mean to my characters.” That goes against my kindergarten-teacher nature! I don’t want to be mean, even if those characters aren’t real people (although we writers know they seem very, very real to us).

Yet, since I enjoy writing stories, and want my stories to be entertaining and have a meaningful message, I must have conflict, and in my stories the conflict must be resolved by (or before) the happy ending.

So - - being a seat-of-the-pants writer, I make myself pause at certain places in my writing, and check to see if I’m being “tough” and adding conflict that will make my story stronger. If I’m not, then I take a break, pray some more about my writing, and then later return to my project with a renewed spirit - - determined to be as tough as necessary. Yes, it’s an ongoing struggle, but one I’m working on. 😊

What about you? Do you struggle with having enough conflict in your stories?

In Tune With Romance 

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Meg Mills is thankful she relocated to Coastal Breeze after becoming widowed two years earlier. As she makes plans to achieve her dream of owning a small bookstore, she begins doubting herself after being harassed by her late husband’s stepmother. She’s also confused at her strong attraction to the shy, lanky piano tuner who arrives for an appointment one day.

Todd Davis is grateful for his aunt’s encouragement to move to Coastal Breeze after a painful divorce, and is soon captivated by an outgoing piano tuning client. But he’s an introvert, and feels certain the pretty widow wouldn’t be interested in him.

When Todd is hired as the local church’s choir director, he hopes this will help him get to know the attractive widow better—if he can come out of his shell. When the cousin who bullied Todd as a youth unexpectedly arrives in Coastal Breeze, Todd must confront his greatest fear, while getting past the pain of his memories. Meg worries that her exuberant personality has driven Todd away—until she learns the truth about his past.

Can two people who are polar opposites help each other & find romance in the process?

Patti Jo Moore is a retired kindergarten teacher and lifelong Georgia girl. She loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed to be published with Forget-Me-Not Romances. When she’s not spending time with her family (including her sweet grandbaby) or writing her “Sweet, Southern Stories” Patti Jo can be found feeding cats—her own six and local strays.

She loves connecting with readers and other writers, and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore or her personal blog at