I recently saw a post on Facebook in which a reader asked for recommendations of romance novels that don’t have a “black moment.”
If you haven’t heard the term before, the black moment is the point when all hope is lost.
In CCR, it’s the part of the story where the boy does not get the girl. Or the hero and heroine break up. Or circumstances tear them apart.
As a reader, I both love and hate the black moment.
I hate it because when I’m invested in a character, I don’t want to see him or her in pain. But I love it because, when an author pulls off a really great black moment, it makes the happy ending so much sweeter.
What makes a black moment great? For me, it’s the element of surprise.
Most people read romance novels because we want the emotional satisfaction of that happy ending. But when I can see the happy ending coming from a million miles away, I get bored. So, I love it when an author keeps me guessing.
Becky Wade did this in her recent release, Memory Lane. There was a mystery about how the hero got amnesia that played out alongside the romance. I had some ideas about how it had happened, but I was wrong!
That need to know what had happened kept me reading, reading, reading right until the end, when the mystery was solved and the hero and heroine finally came together for real.
In the three books I’ve published so far, I haven’t included any mysteries, but I do like to keep people guessing in other ways. I do this by giving my characters seemingly insurmountable odds of ever being able to have a happy relationship with each other.
The best compliment for me as a writer is when someone tells me my book is a page turner, because that means I was able to keep them guessing about how the hero and heroine would achieve their happy ending the whole way through!
How do you feel about the black moment in the books you read? Do you like books that keep you guessing, or do you prefer a book without a lot of surprises?