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Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Black Moment

Do you ever have this dilemma? The closer you get to The Black Moment (I always hear those words in James Earl Jones’ voice, with an echo) the more you start dragging your heels about writing it? For me, it’s a definite case of “I don’t wanna do it!”

We work so hard to get our characters together, to get them to overcome their obstacles, fears, conflicts and flaws and take that shot at happiness… and then we have to rip them apart.

I’m at that point in my WIP, and it’s killing me. My heroine wants so badly to trust, but has been hurt before. She’s not willing to take a chance on or believe in anything—especially not a hero with a reputation like this guy’s. Speaking of my hero. Sigh. He’s done his best to convince her it’s real and that he’s ready to take a chance and settle down. But I know something he doesn’t. When he pours out those feelings to her, she’s going to shoot him down like a scud missile.

And I’m dreading it.

In stories past, I have cried right along with my h/h at this pivotal moment, felt their pain as intensely as if it were my own, and hated myself for ripping them apart. (Note to self: Nic, you seriously need to get a life!) But rip I must, because they haven’t learned yet. Haven’t discovered all that they’re willing to sacrifice in order to be together. Haven’t realized that, despite their differences, being apart is far, far worse than fighting to be together.

As the God of their universe, I know I’ll put them back together when the time is right and they’ve suffered enough, but it will still mean a few days of feeling lousy on my part until we get there. I’ll be walking around feeling blue, sniffling at all those love songs on the radio, and feeling like I’ve lost my best friends. (Yep. Gonna get that life any day now...) But the sooner I dive in and do it, the sooner I’ll get to the scenes where they get back together. So tomorrow morning when writing time comes around again, I’ll go ahead and rip their hearts out.

But I still don’t wanna!!!

So... do you dread writing The Black Moment? Or do you simply take it as it comes, as a necessary part of the story cycle? How do you get past scenes you don't really want to write?


Susan Macatee said...

I'd have to say I take it as it comes. After all, it's already all spelled out in my outline. All that's left to do is flesh it out.

But I know what you mean by living through it along with the characters. I guess we have to do that in order for the characters to feel real to readers.

The scenes I have the most trouble writing are the scenes where nothing Earth shattering is going on. But these scenes are necessary to move along the development of the story as well as the characters. I tend to skim through them and have to go back in revision stage and flesh them out more. I guess that's how I get past them in the first draft stage.

Great post, Nic!

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Thanks, Susan. Yeah, transitional scenes and I aren't exactly friendly either, LOL. I consider them a necessary evil but it's like pulling teeth sometimes to write them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

The Black Moment (I always hear those words in James Earl Jones’ voice, with an echo)

HAHA! Ok, I admit to laughing at this like a loon. Luckily I was in my office and no one saw. I can hear the Darth Vader voice saying that so clearly now.

As for the moment itself, I love it, I know I'm weird, but it's the angst of the matter, and I adore angst. That said, I find I write the later scenes much faster to get over that hump and move on to the happiness, which I also love.

Paty Jager said...

I have a love/hate relationship with the black moment. I hate pulling them apart, but it also means they are getting to the Happy Ever After which is the whole reason to write the book in the first place. So, though I have a tough time making the scene gut wrenching and real- I know that several pages away is what the characters, myself, and the reader all want. The HEA ending.

I know this is going to be good! Can't wait to read it!

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