Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why I love Black Moments

I know a romance will end in a HEA, but I love the Black Moments, those pages when the heroine is certain she's lost her one true chance at happiness. I gasp and sigh, maybe even sniffle. I read faster no matter what the hour. I have to get to the happy ending. (Don't give me a happy ending and you'd better have a darn good reason why.)
I'm plotting my WIP right now. The Black Moment is high on my must-deliver list. Right before the end.


  1. As writers, building up to that black moment is vitally important if we want our readers to gasp, sigh or sniffle. There's a very fine line between underplaying it and overplaying it IMO.

  2. Hi,

    Nice opening, Ana. I too love a bit of a black (momentary)storm to hit and throw the characters off kilter, and make the HEA seem unlikely. What is the point of romance novel without a black moment? Yet, they exist and are so sickly sweet as to render a cynic to fit of the yawns.

    Hee hee, love Paula's take on black moments "fine line between underplaying it and overplaying it".

    Tricky is that, 'cause how can one underplay the death of a hero: crashed aircraft found half submerged on beach, no body, therefore missing presumed dead? ;)

    You can all tell me tomorrow if I've overplayed this scene.


  3. I was referring to the build-up to the black moment, Francine, not the actual moment itself. If you drop too many hints beforehand, it ceases to have any impact. If, however, it comes out of the blue, it can seem unrealistic and not believable.

  4. Hi Paula,

    Oh gawd, out of the blue scenario! I had a car bomb scene in a romantic thriller, and it came right out of the blue. I can tell you, those who read it said it knocked them sideways: no one prepared for it, and it hit at the end of first chapter-cum-prologue! ;)

  5. That's fine at the end of the first chapter, Francine, I've had similar 'shock' moments (although nothing as dramatic as a car-bomb!). But it's the black moment before the final resolution I'm meaning.

  6. I love those black moments that get my heart all squeezed up and the tears flowing and me wondering how in the world a HEA is ever going to come out of this.

  7. Love that phrase, Debra - your 'heart all squeezed up' :)

  8. I like a happy ending and generally aim for that but the road to it can be rocky indeed.