I earned an MFA from Wayne State University in Detroit. I've published over a dozen short stories in various magazines and e-zines. My novel, "The Dragons of Hazlett", is now out, and I have two new novels which will be published by Mundania Press, LLC this year and in 2011.
The show's writer, and I really wish I could remember his name, said that the best way to create tension in a plot was to take a character and put him in the place he least wants to be. Then you, the writer, sit back and watch what happens.
In the television show M*A*S*H, that meant placing the irascible, anti-establishment, pacifist surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in the highly regimented US army, far away from his beloved Crabapple Cove, Maine. Many of the show's episodes revolved around Hawkeye's rebellion against authority, his frustration over army regulations, and his struggle to remain sane in an insane environment.
I guess the lesson to be learned here is to not make your characters too comfortable. The unfortunate truth is that fiction without conflict is not very interesting. I doubt that a television show about a man sitting in an easy chair drinking lemonade and reading the newspaper would have won fourteen Emmys and ran for eleven years.