I have just realised why I’ve been unhappy with the last third of my wip and why the black moment feels like it comes out of the blue – there is no tension. My characters are having a lovely time now they’ve fallen into bed but where is the ‘OMG it’s all going to end in tears I just know it!’ feeling? Where is the dark cloud that is rapidly lowering on the horizon? Gone, that’s what.
Michelle Styles’ comment on my last post about kitchens was incredibly prescient as it turns out because yes, I have lost the tension. With every scene the tension should wind tighter not release like a tightrope snapping under a heavy weight!
The good thing is that I know why my tension has snapped. It’s because I’ve lost focus of the essential conflict – again! I got sidetracked by the reasons they were falling for each other and though that’s important, it’s not as important as the all reasons they shouldn’t! And not just the ‘I must not fall in love’ but the ‘why I must not fall in love’.
Not to mention the fact that I haven’t dug as deeply into my conflict as I need to. My hero has been bringing up his much younger sister for the last ten years and though she’s now at university, he is still finding it difficult to let her go. Why? What’s he afraid of? And what does this mean for my heroine? And speaking of her, she is still trying to escape her over-protective parents. Why? What’s she really afraid of and what does this mean for the hero?
So, have hauled the sorry mess back into line again by putting their essential conflict back into their scenes together. Building up that tension so that when the black moment arrives, it’ll be so dark that they will be absolutely unable to see their way out of it.
I just hope to God I can! 🙂