Black Moments

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?

12 thoughts on “Black Moments”

  1. You make those black moments sound terrific – hope they hurry up with your call ‘cos I can’t wait to read your books.

    I’m in the middle of rewrite hell and none of my scenes are currently favourite (sob). Although, when it’s going well, I’m rather too fond of cutting remarks and sarcasm and probably use them far too frequently.

    X

  2. Thanks Suzanne. 🙂 I hope they hurry up too!
    But yeah, I love the cutting remarks as well! Writing sarcastic dialogue is a favourite of mine – I end up having to cut a lot of it though ’cause it doesn’t advance the plot any. Damn plot. 😉

  3. You make the black moment sound so much more inviting, and I am with Suzanne, I wish they would hurry up with that call.

    I love beginnings. Love them, love them, love them. That moment when they first clap eyes on each other and feel that shot of adrenalin, whether they admit to it or not. Where anything is possible…for both the heroine and for me as a writer. Maybe that is why I currently have three unfinished manuscripts sitting on my desktop.

  4. I love beginnings too, Felicity. If it were up to me, that’s all I would write: beginnings, love scenes and black moments – all the bits of the story where the emotion is high. Middles and endings, not so much.

    As to all your mss – get Ris to crack that whip! 😉

  5. Well as you saw from my post, the DLS is definately not on the top of my list.
    I’m with you, the black moment is my fave too because all the pent up emotion and conflict come to a head. In fact, I often skip ahead, write the black moment, maybe the resolution, then work backward. Funny enough for me, it gives my ms a clearer direction.

  6. I love the black moment too, the words pour out – yay. I do sometimes struggle with the resolution. Once i figure it out and know what’s going to happen it’s hard to get to the very end.
    For me anyway.
    Beginnings are fun but i find i need to simmer on an idea for a bit cos i want to get it started right. Makes me put lots of pressure on the opening.
    =)

  7. Yay Janette – they’re great aren’t they? I try not to skip ahead ’cause I like to have something to look forward to. Mind you, if I make important discoveries conflict-wise during that moment, maybe I should try skipping ahead. Would mean less re-writing!

    Becca, I too find the ending difficult. I suppose it’s due to not liking the whole explanations and ‘I love you too’ thing. My endings tend to be somewhat abrupt as a consequence – which is not what I like as a reader! Must work on that. 🙂

  8. Firstly, LOVE your new banner heading Jackie!

    Secondly, I love books with very emotional black moments. I like to see the plot drive the hero to drink and heroine to tears too. I keep my all time favourites separate from other books and have read them such a disgusting amount of times that I could probably recite the moment word for word!

  9. Oh, thanks Lacey! It’s a line from an ee cummings poem. I thought it was apt.

    Now, you’re assuming the heroine is crying and the hero is drinking. Couldn’t we have it vice versa?? 😉

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