Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Gray Moment just go Blacker

Well, in my case it might be the brown or gray moment. LOL. Right now, I'm struggling with the ending to a new story. Part of the reason is that the main characters have already had their "black moment", that spirally climax where they lose everything. For this story, they enjoy this peak at about the same time and together they must figure a way to face the fall out. However, the conflict continues and the ultimate resolution forces another mini-black moment.

I remember working on The Keeper of Moon Haven. I started the story five years before seeing it published. It was one of my "learning" pieces.  At the time, I was in an online crit group of ten wonderful ladies. It was this group of women who encouraged a novice to persevere. This particular story had them all begging for more which of course made me feel very good, but I'll never forget one critiquer's comment about my black moment. "It's weak. It's just not black enough. It's kinda brown or gray. You need to crank up the emotion and make him lose more." Hence the scene where Noreen actually dies and the only way to save her it to break his promise, to take her into his realm. Before, I only had her wounded and she eventually comes to his realm on her own. But forcing the issue caused more tension. She had to forgive him for forcing her into his world. He had to forgive himself for wanting to see she lived instead of letting her world see to her death.

Until that book and that critique, I hadn't given much thought to the black moment. I didn't even know it had a name, that's how much of a novice I was. However, now, when I'm stuck, I find myself going back to the basics. Like now, I have to pinpoint my black moment and decided if it's black enough. Usually, doing so helps me with the ending.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

That's a very good point, Ciara - thanks for reminiding us about the importance of black moments!

Big Mike said...

Interesting. Never heard that term. I always used the phrase, "Dip into hell" just like what our country is going through now with the government t destroying the future for our Gkids. Always teaching me aren't ya GG.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

My teacher called it the darkest moment. Ramping up the trauma is your best way to keep readers hoping or the best and wallowing in the worst.