Hi everyone –
Last weekend I taught a couple of workshops at the Southern California Writer’s Conference in San Diego. This was a conference open to all genres as well as non-fiction and memoir writers. I had a great time meeting new people and hanging out with other fun writers. It’s always nice to get out and mingle with creative people.
But my favorite part was teaching my workshop on Black Moments. What is a black moment? It’s actually the pivotal moment when all of your conflict builds to a peak and forces the main character to face their greatest fear or secret and as a result grow.
In short, you’re writing your whole book toward this amazing moment. The moment when your character will never be the same.
This is also a pivotal moment for the writer. Why? Because this is the moment where your characters EARN that happily ever after. There is nothing more unsatisfying to a reader than building up to a climax that fizzles, right? Or worse yet, it builds to an amazing peak of conflict and is suddenly solved by a new character who swoops in to fix everything. Ugh!
If you look at fiction and movies that stick with you long after you put the book down, they almost always have a HUGE black moment when you realize “No way. The good guys aren’t going to be able to win this one.” As a romance writer, it’s always amazing to see a reviewer write “I wasn’t sure they were going to get their happily ever after.”
But it was also that horrific moment that changed Luke Skywalker forever. Luke grew up and the mantle of the Force settled over him. Without that horrific black moment, our hero never would have grown into the man who would blow up the Death Star.
If you want to study more black moments and strengthen the conflict and tension in your manuscript, I’m teaching an online class at Savvy Authors next week… I’d love to see you there too! J http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/showevent.php?eventid=1831
Sorry to get so long winded, but black moments always get me fired up! J
What are some of your favorite black moments in books and movies?