BACK STORY: Over the past 8 months or so Love Conflicted has been featured on and off the michelle leigh writes blog. Its premiere date was May 11th 2015, and the consistent updates lasted through June 25th 2015. Then I took a massive hiatus from the series. I finally got my act together in the New Year and finished it this week, finishing my stories is incredibly important to me, far too many go unfinished. It was important for me to see this through. Seeing as how I slipped up on this week’s schedule, I figured I’d give you a rare Sunday post, I am thinking about adding Sundays to the schedule, so that will put me at a 3 times a week schedule. However, it is to still be determined, if I can actually commit to that, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But I may do a trial run and see if it works out. As promised here is the Love Conflicted inspired “Soundtrack” and My Author’s Commentary.
DISCLAIMER: Love Conflicted is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write this story series I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, recently A Broken Heart For Christmas, and now also with Love Conflicted. Along the way there have been little one shots, or shorts including a few parts as I will. But that distinction is not always clear, I don’t always know how long a story is going to take to tell. As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!
OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉
**Love Conflicted** “Soundtrack”
- “All In My Head”– Tori Kelly
- “I Know What You Did Last Summer”– Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
- “Revival”– Selena Gomez
- “Call of the Wild”– Bethany Joy Lenz
- “Water Under the Bridge”– Adele
- “The Last Time”– Taylor Swift Ft. Gary Lightbody
- “Sad Beautiful Tragic”-Taylor Swift
- “Blindness”– Justin Timberlake
- “What A Good Woman Does”– Joy Williams
- “Until the Levee”– Joy Williams
- “Stitches”– Shawn Mendes
- “I’ll Show You”– Justin Bieber
- “Please”– Bethany Joy Lenz
- “Stealing”– Gavin Degraw
- “When I Was Your Man”– Bruno Mars
- “It Will Rain”– Bruno Mars
- “The One That Got Away”– The Civil Wars
- “Disarm”– The Civil Wars
- “I’m A Mess”– Ed Sheeran
- “I See Fire”– Ed Sheeran
- “Maybe”– Everly-(Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)
- “You Found Me”– The Fray
- “Leave You Alone”– Kris Allen
- “Wanted You More”– Lady Antebellum
- “Lesson Learned”– Ray LaMontagne
Onto the next portion…My Love Conflicted *Author’s Commentary*
This drama series was rooted in the love story between two unlikely souls. Maggie an elementary school teacher and Ricky an undercover “mobster” who thought he was working for an honorable CIA organization that turned out to be corrupt. Maggie and Ricky meet by chance and experience an instant spark. The bulk of their relationship is rooted in sub context. You don’t really see much of their love in current time. You experience it through the occasional flashback, through the stories they share about each other, and through the intense conversations they have when are reunited for brief periods of time. You get to see their life together through images on Maggie’s phone as well.
Lily and Ian are introduced gradually. I always feel that my mind automatically goes to a minimum of a 4 person cast. The love story is there, boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy gets girl, boy screws up, boy tries to win girl back. And in the mist of all that the story has to keep going…enter supporting characters Ian and Lily. They’re budding love story is just a happy coincidence. Their story is one of a lighter more sarcastic, sassy and fun tone. In contrast to Maggie and Ricky’s love story which is no heartbreaking and so dramatically driven. The “I can’t breathe without you” feel is heavy for those too. Yet Ian and Lily keep things light and let’s be honest they are most comedy you’ll get here. Lily has her one liners that zing, doesn’t she?
Also the story lines Mob nod must be a trend, huh? [See Mysterious Attraction] Ode to Sonny Corinthos and General Hospital.
There are consistent themes of Love, Friendship, Trust, Fear, Bravery, Finding yourself, Coming into your own skin, Independence, Guilt, and ultimately rebuilding and waking each other up to inspire a better way of life. That goes for all characters and all forms of the relationships between these 4 people.
When I sat down with the first scene, it was somewhat of a scene that resembled the first part, where there was this back and forth between Ricky and a female character. You could tell she was angry with him and there was a very good reason, one that he was trying to make light of and gloss over with charm and his belief in their love. His belief that love could somehow help them overcome the catastrophic bomb he just dropped on her. i.e.: that he’s essentially a hit man. But I never really knew who these character would become and getting to know them and writing their dialogue and choosing how they would handle things, that’s been the most fun.
Ricky: Jesse Lee Soffer (I think he and Lenz would be magic on screen together!)
Ricky faces the blow back from years of horrifying assignments. He finally realizes that what he’s been doing hasn’t been for the better of his country. As he comes to grips with that reality he is faced with trying to protect the woman he loves in the mist of trying to out his corrupt boss, Cobbs. Ricky is a good hearted man, but his job has trained him to perceive himself as a villain of sorts. We never meet Cobbs but we don’t have to. His threat is there, it’s real and evident in Ricky’s fear. He’s almost like this mysterious ghost that looms over them, and we never know if he’s actually going to make his move. I wanted the threat and the fear to be real, without having to have some big reveal or altercation with the actual threat himself. I wanted to sway away from the route Mysterious Attraction took, of kidnappings, and hostage situations. Although the dangers were very similar, the main altercation was ultimately Ricky’s arrest and his choosing to let Maggie go, completely breaking her heart and his own.
Maggie: Bethany Joy Lenz (She is my QUEEN…I can’t even tell you!)
Maggie is that girl that is so kind and beautiful and so full of hope and light that you just expect no one to ever hurt her. That and the fact that she closes herself off from any kind of risk. Therefore insuring herself she won’t get hurt. She’s the girl that is completely unaware of how amazing she is, and is timid in her sexuality. Meeting Ricky who instantly uses his charm and wit to convince her to take a risk makes her feel alive. The fact that he looks at her in a way that she’s never been looked at before, does wonders for her too. But with all that being said, Maggie comes into her own as she slowly realizes everyone around her is trying to coddle her. She hates feeling like a victim and chooses to take her life in her own hands, going after what she wants.
Lily: Candice Accola-King
If you know my writing, you know the best friend is always the sassy one. [See: Demi Lovato as Roxy in Mysterious Attraction.] I don’t know what it is. But I just feel like the best friend has to be this loose cannon who just speaks the truth. In many way Lily serves as the audience’s perspective. You know when you’re watching a movie or TV show and someone is doing something so stupid you just scream at the TV. Yea, well that’s Lily. She states what should appear as the obvious to the others actors in the story.
Ian: Nick Wechsler
Ian is a sweet, calm guy. The voice of reason. Although he too has been involved in these high-stake illegal activities, his self-awareness is much further along than Ricky’s. He knows how to separate himself from his corruption leader of a boss, and knows that his actions were a product of being coerced and trained for years. He also has had a bit more distance than Ricky, as Ricky was made a leader in the organization and felt the brunt of things toward the end, Ian was more of fixer of things, the driver, a tying up loose ends guy. Ian was the one who has been by Ricky’s side, the one who would sacrifice for the wellbeing of everyone. He’s heroic. But it’s a quiet heroism. You don’t realize how self-less he is right off the bat. He’s also got his own charm. His flirtation isn’t as blunt as Ricky’s when it comes to the ladies. He’s a quiet compliment-er, he observes Lily and her nature. He uses what he learns to draw her in and to connect with her. He genuinely speaks his mind and although he goes along with Lily’s sassy flirtation he is completely obvious about his intention to fall in love with her.
-The exclusion of voiceover, the implementation of inner thoughts-
This wasn’t consistent throughout the story. It started off with Maggie’s inner thoughts because she was dealing with a lot on her own, so we had to hear her thoughts. Once Lily was introduced those thoughts were reflected in the dialogue between those two characters as we experienced her pain through the things she confided in her friend.
-The Evolution of relationships-
It’s evident that Lily and Maggie have been friends their whole lives. Lily is Maggie’s rock. She is the one to look out for her. Let’s face it she has no filter and will test anyone who tries to cause Maggie any pain.
Throughout the story we see Ricky deal with the consequences of his actions. We see him deal with having to suffer through causing Maggie so much pain. Ian is someone who is brought in to remain the calm, cool, collected person, he’s cool under pressure. He serves as the voice of reason and as Ricky’s eyes, when he can’t be there for Maggie. The one who is Ricky’s right hand man, and will sacrifice to help him in anyway. They have been partners forever, but their friendship is their first priority. They have each other’s backs, always.
When Lily and Ian meet it’s kind of a comedic moment. Rare for this series, but it serves as a breath of fresh air. We see Lily’s sassy nature at its best, and we see that even the most stoic of men can be instantly distracted by a beautiful and alluring woman. Lily is the way she is due to a recent heartbreak. Ian takes his time to court her, proving to her that he’s worth it. Lily’s calm and collected not to mention sassy nature is her defense mechanism. Ian gets to her, with his innocent yet somewhat obvious flirtations.
The main love story is set between Maggie and Ricky. Maggie lives a plain life, a routine life. A life of rules. Ricky follows his own set of rules. When their worlds collide, opposites attract and they find something in each other that compliments them as individuals. Things they have been looking for all along. Ricky instills adventure and confidence in Maggie’s life, showing her how amazing she is while trying to keep a light hearted sexy tone to their conversations. He’s definitely got a bit of a problem with telling her what to do, because he’s so afraid to lose her. His overprotective nature does cost him at times. While, Maggie instills belief, love and stability in Ricky’s life. Bringing a sense of realism to life, showing him that his criminal past isn’t what defines him. Ricky and Maggie have a back and forth that is evident. There is always a high level of tension, because they are always drawn to each other even though they both experience their reservations about being together. Regardless the love is always there.
-What I’ve learned about my writing, and need to work on for my next series and future projects-
*Write the series (or at least the bulk of it) in advance before posting.
Posting as I go makes it hard for me to stay motivated at times and makes it hard to remember where I left off. Which can cause continuity issues and timeline confusions.
*Keep note of the timeline and realize that not everyone can see it as clearly as you can.
This story has taken place over the course or nearly 1 ½-2 years. In real time we see about a year of it. But Maggie and Ricky have had an ongoing relationship for nearly 2 years. They were together for about 6 months before she found out about his job. 6 months he was able to hide and act like a normal boyfriend, but on the sly. Lily was the only one who truly knew they were an actual couple. To the outside world they seemed friendly. When Maggie finds out about Ricky’s job she pulls away. As Ricky begins to fight for her-coming full force to win her back. Maggie thinks she’s pregnant and worries Ricky’s lifestyle will cause her and her child pain. Their relationship moves quickly, as Ricky had revealed they said their “I love you’s” a week after dating. The separation/reuniting period is on and off for a while, and then after Ricky’s arrest, we jump 6 months ahead which allude to the growth these characters have made. In that time Ian and Lily have started their own romance and seem to be smitten with each other. Ricky spent his time getting well, and Maggie spent her time being in her own skin. Although the time apart was painful for both of them, they made it back to each other in the end, better than they were before, with a promising future ahead of them.
*Learn how to implement backstory better.
I feel like the little facts like Maggie’s a school teacher and Lily suffered a bad relationship could have been better thought out and more implemented throughout the story’s entirety. I need to be careful of that next time.
*Describe location, outfits, appearance more thoroughly, paint a picture for the audience. Where are they, what does it look like? Just because I see it, doesn’t mean you do.
*Learn to sus out the basis of the story before I post.
This can be hard because I often don’t know where the story will go. I may have a vague idea, but then as I’m writing the direction can change in an instant.
*Be more consistent and stick to a solid posting schedule.
I usually post on Mondays and Thursdays every week. For a while this series was all I featured on my blog, and then I kind of felt like I needed to regroup and give other categories on my blog some love. But then the series kind of took a really long break and it was hard to get back into, I just kept putting it off.
*Do research BEFORE you post.
With the crime/legal issues/mob story lines there are certain clauses and lingo and statures that go with that type of plotline. I feel like I didn’t know much about what the CIA does and that caused a problem as I wrote Ricky’s character. I would research as I went which I think that caused some inconsistencies and some weirdness. I did my best, hopefully it came across accurately enough.
*Don’t be afraid of sexual content and more explicit language. And don’t apologize.
I think this is a big one for me to learn. I find myself putting warnings and disclaimers before any chapters that contain more adult matters. Sex is a part of relationships and loving someone, and telling a love story. Cursing is part of heated conversation and gives a line a more dignified delivery. In this series, I definitely explored a more adult style of writing. I usually edit myself when it comes to love scenes, because I feel like it may be perceived as slutty or trashy, and I’m still trying to learn how to write an effective love scene. But I think with this series I’m breaking out of my shell slowly. I am 24, so I mean come on now, the things on TV and in the theaters now, would make my Maggie and Ricky measly shower sex scene seem like a Disney Channel movie.
*Write more like a script, then a novel.
This is something that I’ve noticed. I want the series to be read like a movie, and yet I’m writing and reading it like a short story. Formatting definitely needs work.
*Step up your editing images game, and use the slideslow option more often.
I don’t have image editing software on my computer. I actually found a way to edit images through Microsoft, but some edits come out SO BAD. Lol. Some come out pretty good. I’ve definitely gotten better since the Mysterious Attraction days, but I can only imagine the images I could create if I actually had Photoshop! Sometimes I’ll edit an image and it’ll come out pretty good and I will just get so excited. Seeing my characters come together like that makes it almost seem real. Oh just let me live. Let me dream! 😉 WordPress just added the slideshow option (or I just realized they had one) and it makes things so much neater, you can add captions and watch the story unfold like a mini movie. I love it!
So there you have it guys, as this post goes up, we say Good Bye to this series, and plan for the next one. I’m excited! Thank you for reading, and congrats if you had the patience to stay tuned until the end! 😉
Catch up on Love Conflicted HERE
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*