Internal Conflict Vs External Conflict with Amy Ruttan #Giveaways

 Please welcome author Amy Ruttan as she talks about Internal Vs External Conflict and she has giveaways!

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she's not furiously typing away at her computer, she's a mom to three children.

Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

Find her here:

Website       Twitter        Facebook

It’s all internal. What I learned writing Medical Romances

I’ve been asked this question a few times and with only 4 books published and 6 written I hardly feel an expert, because writing is a learning process and with each book I learn something new. I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far.

Writing for category or series romance is not as easy as it sounds and most of the times I’m asked how I do it. I can share a bit about what I know and how it pertains to the category I write for, which is Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. Though really, it can be applied to any line as long as you know the nuances of that line. I’ll explain further down what I mean.

I didn’t think I would ever be able to do that. I didn’t think that I would be able to write a category romance. I was so shocked when I made the cut during the 2010 Medical Fast Track, then went on to work with an editor and then sold.

They put me through my paces and taught me how to write tight and right for series.

I will also tell you there’s not really a formula. There are certain expectations and nuances to the line. For example I write for Medical Romance. The romance between the hero and heroine is still crucial, but it has to be in a medical setting. The hero and heroine have to work together in a medical setting. There’s a push pull of attraction with them working in this very high paced, adrenaline driven environment.

It’s why I find doctors, paramedics, nurses etc., intriguing. Your life is in their hands, but they’re human too.

Here are the guidelines straight for the Harlequin site:

Contemporary romance novels set in the medical world.
·         Focus of the story must be on the development of the central romantic relationship against the backdrop of a contemporary medical setting.
·         Strong, gorgeous, medical professional heroes at the top of their game with hearts of gold, and heroines to match.
·         Heroes and heroines, who work together in a medical setting, - their working relationship, medical dramas etc., help to drive the romantic relationship.
·         Contemporary, international medical settings are, however, integral to the story, and the central relationship should rise out of them.
·         A range of sensuality from intensely passionate to warm and tender
·         An emotionally intense read, ranging from the traditional to the ground breaking.
·         Innovative emotional conflicts, and traditional emotional themes developed in a unique way are all welcome.
·         Word count of 50,000
You don’t have a lot of breathing room in 50,000 words. It sounds like a lot, but it’s not. There’s not a lot of room to have lots of secondary characters, or an antagonist even. Most of my favorite big books have these elements, but what I like about category and series romance is it’s really character driven.

When I start out writing my books for Medical I think what keeps the hero and heroine from being together? What are their internal conflicts? What do they have to overcome to get to their Happily Ever After?

And it’s not always easy finding it. Trust me. Sometimes I’m right on the money in my proposal and outlining stage. Other times, I’m thinking more externally.

What I mean by external is “I’m his boss and therefore I can’t have a relationship with him”.

And internal “I was betrayed in love. Hurt and I won’t ever open my heart up again.”

When you write for any series romance, try to think about the internal reasons. What keeps them apart and you’re on the right road.

Thank you for allowing me to visit today. I hope this post has inspired some of you and the best way to learn about a particular series you’re interested in writing about is to read that series’ most recent releases!

 Amy Ruttan's latest Medical Romance:


To love again…? 

Single mom and paramedic Samantha Doxtator has been living with a broken heart after losing her husband years ago. Now she's finally back on track and following her dream to become an air ambulance pilot…after training one last student—George Atavik!

Since nearly losing his life in a plane crash, George will not waste the second chance he's been given, and he won't deny the sparks flying between him and his new mentor. Does Samantha dare risk her own carefully guarded heart for another opportunity at happiness?

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links

Mills & Boon UK

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies!

Enter this to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for sharing these great information.

  2. I loved reading this post with all these information, thanks Amy.

  3. Thanks Amy! I'm just making realizations about conflict in my own writing - this helps! :)

  4. Congrats, Amy! What a great explanation of the internal and external conflicts and how they revolve around that particular line of romance. :)

  5. Nas, thanks for the intro to Amy! Appreciate the info on the contrast between the two. Done well, it makes a story so much more enjoyable.

  6. Interesting post! Thanks for the info. I enjoy reading books with a medical background, but it never occurred to me to consider writing one. Hmmmmm... I DID work in a hospital... HA. Just kidding. I'd rather read Amy's books.

    1. Thanks, Susan! Hey, you never know what the future will bring! ;)

  7. Great tips, Amy. Best of luck with the book....

  8. This is a great insight into medical romance. Thanks Amy...

  9. 50k words is indeed a tight write. Amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it. Good article in terms of the internal and external conflict that's integral to romance.

  10. I can imagine what a challenge it is to pack all of that into 50,000 words. You really have to plan!

    1. You do have to plan, Sherry. No more flying by the seat of my pants sadly.

  11. "Your life is in their hands, but they’re human too" -- great tagline for your series!

  12. Great tips! Congratulations to Amy on all her success.

  13. Excellent tips. I love the internal conflicts and how the characters agonize over them.

  14. What wonderful tips! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. :)

  15. Funny how she says that 50,000 is not enough. I'm always too concise and don't know how to fill the remaining space :-)

  16. Wonderful info. A medical setting sounds intense.

  17. Very useful tips and suggestions. I don't write romances, but internal conflict is an integral part of all fiction.


Join the discussion. What do you think?