Going into the Dark

Do you cry during your stories’ dark moments? If you’re a writer of popular fiction you know what a dark or black moment is...when it appears all is lost. Your main characters won’t triumph or get what they want. All successful movies have dark moments as well. In romance, it’s when it looks like the hero and heroine won’t end up together, just before the (happy) ending.

In my opinion, dark moments need to be emotionally wrenching so the reader will experience catharsis through the character’s emotional pain and disappointment. We want to drag the reader to an all time low along with the characters so that when they overcome their obstacles, make a way to be together and triumph against all odds, the joy will be that much sweeter. We want the reader to cry. Well, I cry too. I figure if I don’t cry at my own dark moment while I’m writing it, the reader won’t either. It’s very difficult to read the computer screen through the blur of tears so it takes longer to write. :-) I always like them to be real tear-jerkers, the more emotionally intense the better! This is the big payoff the reader has been waiting for. Throughout the whole book you’ve shown why your characters’ conflicts won’t allow them to be together. And now it appears the conflicts have won out.

I think I used a half box of tissues a few days ago while constructing my dark moment. Yeah, it’s tough to get on this emotional roller coaster but the payoff is worth it. A fantastic ending to the story. One your reader, hopefully, won’t forget. In the happily-ever-after resolution, the hero and heroine will get back together, they will triumph and get what they want. I will sigh. The reader will sigh.
What kind of dark moments do your favorite books/movies have? If you’re a writer, do you create tear-jerker dark moments?


crappola123 said...

I don't understand why women love torturing themselves so much - all the books and films they watch (yes, I might be talking about "Sleepless in Seattle" here) where they end up in tears.

"Don't Die Champ" springs to mind.

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Yes, Vonda, I'm one of those who cries over their own dark moment in a manuscript, a book or movie dark moment, Hallmark commercials, etc... I'm a sap. I confess.

And Jonathan - you aren't supposed to understand it. Just offer sympathy when the occasion arises and you'll be the Hero.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Wow! I have visitors! Thanks, you guys, for commenting. Carol, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who cries through their own dark moment. I'm also a sap. :-) Jonathan, honestly, I don't enjoy crying all day but I suppose creating the intense dark moment is a necessary step along the way toward an emotionally satisfying ending to the story. :-)

Randy said...

I must confess, I'm not a fan of writing deep and dark, so I've never cried over my own blak moments...in fact, mine are a bit grey!

That said however, I did get pretty caught up in the climax of my last WIP--while I was tying up all the emotional loose ends.

That was pretty cool.

BTW, did you take that photgraph yourself? It's AWESOME.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Randy, Thank you for visiting! I didn't take the photo. Wish I had. I borrowed it from somewhere but it seemed to fit 'dark moment' well. :-)