When plotting, we talk about character’s internal and external conflicts. Internal conflicts are the forces that drive them personally, and external ones are forces in the outside world that impact the character.
In writers’ lives, we also have internal and external conflicts.
How will I find time to write when my job, school, or family demands so much?Internal:
Will I get an agent?
Will my agent like this idea?
Will I sell a book to a publisher?
What will my reviews be like?
Will the chains carry my book?
Will I ever be good enough?The internal conflicts are what stop me. How can I can take time from other demands – family and paid work – if no one ever wants to read what I write? In the summertime, the answer was that I couldn’t. Now I’m winning out that internal conflict, and I hope to knock a few of the external ones off the list.
Do I have permission to keep writing even if I never accomplish my external goals?
Donald Maass on Writing the Breakout Novel
Therese Walsh on Internal and External Inspirations
Mary Frame on Internal and External Stakes