Leave it to my 13 year-old to critique my middle grade fiction book better than any of my adult friends. We were comparing The Timepiece Chronicles with the Percy Jackson series, and he pointed out that Percy Jackson had two conflicts: his drive to find his mother, and the need to save the world. This is the core of an inner/outer conflict.
You'll see it all around, in every story: In Star Wars, Luke's inner conflict is to prove himself more than a farm boy, more than a nobody. He wants to be a Jedi, like his father. His outer conflict, the one that drives the entire story and everyone else in it, is, of course, the empire against the rebels.
I think my main character's inner conflict is too buried. We know the outer conflict because the world is going to end thanks to Professor Ferguson changing history, but the inner conflict (Jeff trying to go on without his dad) is a little ambiguous and unreachable. So I gotta work on that.
The example above is what makes the ending of Star Wars one of the best endings in film history: it ties BOTH inner and outer conflicts together and brings them to resolution (albeit temporary). Luke saves the day as a REAL Jedi, and the Empire is stopped.
I have to look at mine again and see how I beef up the inner conflict.
But I'm optimistic I can do it!
I'm starting a new book today with that as the title. "The Strength To Stand Up. Memoirs of an Unemployed Man." People have...
Great time had at the SCBWI conference on Saturday! And a big hello to my friends from that conference who've hopefully joined us here....