Characters & Conflict.
Think back to the last book you read. Can you remember the names of the main characters? If so take a moment to think about what their biggest conflict was during the course of the story. If you’re able to do so the writer knew what they needed to do to create a believable character.
As living, breathing, human beings we all face some level of conflict on a daily basis. Be it with our social or physical world, in personal relationships, or with our own nature. Our conflicts can involve a boss or coworker we’d rather not have to face, a lover, or even our emotions and desires.
Without the character there can be no conflict, and without conflict there is no story. All you’re left with is a dry inventory of the elements of the set upon which the character is destined to live. There is nothing present for the reader to become emotionally invested in.
That is the job of the writer. To get the reader emotionally invested in the story.
In Shadows of the Past I delve into the internal conflicts of two men on opposite sides of the battle between good and evil. Jack Griffith can not escape the memories of the day, as a young man in Southeast Asia, that he walked hand in hand with an ancient evil residing in the depths of his soul. Nor can Sam Hardin put to rest the promises of what could have been had it not been for a weakness that brought about the untimely death of his wife. Struggling with these internal conflicts they are thrust into the ongoing battle between good and evil.