This is maybe my favorite thing about being a writer… “the black moment.” I came across a nifty article recently about the subject over at Rayne Hall’s blog.
The Black Moment is a descent into darkness – physical, emotional, mental, psychological or spiritual, or even all of those.
Perhaps I have a streak of sadism, but I enjoy running my characters through grueling physical and emotional gauntlets and ratcheting up the tension in a story until my poor creations verge on breaking. ahem. Some of my favorite moments are from Tolkien when total despair is imminent (Frodo dying by Shelob being a huge one.) King and Martin are also masters of this.
My daughter is a big-time reader. She got quite a kick out of this image I posted to my Instagram and totally agreed it fits me:
I’m proud to have hosted angry phone calls when readers come to points when I’ve put a character through the wringer or even killed him or her. Those moments of tension that nearly break the story are critical to a memorable climax! Don’t skimp on the turmoil and check out Rayne’s blog for some great advice on situations and nuances to increase the intensity of the effect.