One thing I’ve learned from reading romance over the years is that every satisfying story must have a black moment. You know, the scene that inserts itself into a storyline right when things seem to be going well for the main characters, then leaves them wondering if they’ve lost their only shot at love. It’s that “woe is me, the world is ending” part of a book where you may or may not want to shake some sense into the hero or heroine—or both of them!—and tell them to make up already! And for some reason, the black moment always has to happen before we can get to the happy ending.
Grr! Argh! Sigh! LOL
If you can’t tell, I kinda have a love-hate relationship with black moments. Why? On the one hand, I know they’re essential to the plot and are used to add a dramatic element to a story. And as we know from experience, real life isn’t always rosy and easy, and hardships are bound to happen. On the other hand, black moments can sometimes be too dramatic or they can feel forced, as if the author had to toss in something bad in order to follow the romance arc (I may or may not be speaking from experience, LOL). That said, it’s a delicate balance for authors to know how to write black moments that are compelling, but also make sense to the story and its characters.
This is what I attempted to do for my newest release, Retying the Knot. Since this is a romantic comedy, I intentionally kept the black moment lighter and less emotional, but I did manage to insert doubts into the characters’ minds about the possibility of a future together. I won’t spoil the scene for you, but let’s just say that it involves the sudden appearance of an ex, a drama queen of a mother-in-law, and a reference to Judge Judy. Yup, it’s one unique black moment!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about black moments! Do you love them or hate them? Can you tell when one is coming up in a story? Are there any CCR black moments that you’ve found to be quite memorable? Let me know in the comments below!