I seem unable to create conflict in a novel. I’d been discussing this inability with a friend via email. Then in a separate email, I got onto a personal topic and told him about the trouble I’d been having with a government department. I used 400-odd emotion-laden words to tell him about it. I gave him details of all the misunderstandings and arguments, including the conversations that took place, and details of the way it was all resolved. He replied by saying, “So what’s your problem with conflict?” (imagine a sarcasm smiley here) My response is that while I can write convincingly about the conflict that occurs in real life – my real life, that is - I seem unable to carry that skill over into fiction. It seems as if perhaps I don’t feel stuff about my characters the same way I feel stuff when it involves me personally. There must be a magic button somewhere, and I haven’t learnt how to push it. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I bounced that question off my live-in Oracle. She said, “Put yourself in the character’s shoes.” Someone else once asked me how I relate to characters – do I get inside their head or do I see them as separate to myself? My answer to that is that I see them as separate to myself. I don’t feel what they feel. Is this relevant?