Ah, the black moment. The best part of a romance. At least, it’s one of my favourites. I do love writing them. If I haven’t made at least one of my characters cry and/or reach for the medicinal scotch then I feel I haven’t done a very good job. In fact both crying and reaching for the scotch are both good outcomes for me. I like also to have them be mean to each other. In fact, being mean to each other is great to write. No physical violence obviously (unless it’s the medicinal scotch against a wall) but there does tend to be lots of cutting remarks, hateful sarcasm and downright lashing out.
Being hurtful has to be well motivated though, which is why the black moment is so great. Because all that emotion has to be got out somehow and when you’re scared and angry and confused, that’s what you do. It’s also where you say the things you’d never say normally. That’s when my characters confront each other with the big questions, the ones they’ve been dancing around the whole book. And the big questions don’t have easy answers because this is internal conflict here and it’s not easy to resolve (otherwise there wouldn’t be a book, right?).
I think it’s in writing the black moment that I love writing romance the most. All the emotion in it is so powerful. Those gutwrenching, painful scenes are also great because if you’ve written them well and your reader is thinking ‘how on earth are these two going to work it out?’ , it makes the resolution that much more wonderful.
Actually, sometimes in the first draft, I don’t know how they’ll work it out. I have a general idea but it’s not until I’m in the thick of it that’ll I realise what they need to do in order to be together. In fact, sometimes it’s not until that black moment that I understand that what I think the conflict is, is actually something deeper. My current WIP I know is going to be along those lines. There’s going to be something in that black moment for both my characters that I haven’t figured out yet. Obviously they’re both afraid (because fear is at the root of it) and I generally know why but I have a feeling there’s going to be more to it than what I initially thought. Better get on to it, hadn’t I?!
So, what’s your favourite scene to write?