Friday, December 07, 2007

The Black Moment

Kirsty asked:

I am about to write my first Black Moment and would be grateful for any advice you have.I'm happy with how it's progressing so far. Both characters have GMCs that have lead them to this crossroads so it (hopefully!) doesn't seem contrived. But I would love to hear any hints you have for making these scenes impact the reader.

Okay, when I said you could ask questions, I didn’t mean tough questions!! ;)
Just kidding…

In fact, I’m not a very good ‘how to’ writer (which means I just sit down and write instinctively without getting caught up with characters arcs and acts and the general technical side of things.)
It also explains why I've recently spent a month doing loads of research on characterisation and ordered 4 'how to' books. Writing instinctively is good to a point but if you want to take your writing to the next level, it pays to put in the hard yards and check out the technical stuff. Which means I'll probably post more technical blogs too. Scary!

So answering these questions is really making me think. Which is a good thing, trust me!

Kirsty, it sounds like you’re right on track. With both characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts leading them to the BLACK MOMENT, you’ve got them to the point of no return.

So, how to make an impact at the black moment?

Ensure the black moment is when the stakes are highest for your characters. This scene should be the point where all seems lost and their goals cannot be achieved.

Everything should hang in the balance, make it seem like your hero and heroine can’t ever work things out.

At this point the danger (most often to the characters’ peace of mind) is at its worst.

Make the characters draw on new strengths or lessons learned. This plays into the characters’ growth arcs and how they’ve grown/changed during the story. For maximum impact, it helps to make this growth/change occur due to the relationship between hero and heroine.

Does that help oomph up the BM scenes a bit? Hope so. :)

I really must get my act together and put up a series of articles on my website. When I get a spare second…ahem…!

Last but not least, thanks to Mary who said this about PURCHASED FOR PLEASURE:

"BTW, I live in the U.S. but I ordered Purchased for Pleasure when it was released in the U.K. (a patient girl I am not!) For those awaiting the U.S. release, let me just say, you don't want to miss this one! Tyler is to die for!"

Awww....thanks Mary :)


Kirsty C said...

Hi Nicola,

Thanks for that. I will try and put it to good use.

Congratulations on Purchased for Pleasure selling out. Lucky I got my copy early!


Nicola Marsh said...

You're welcome, Kirsty.
And hope you enjoy the book :)