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June 21, 2010


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I like the idea of a bleak moment... With what I write, my black moments tend toward more of the save the world pass or fail sort of trauma...the personality/love clash is different. And I think I like the idea of bleak...


Love your perspective! This is a good life lesson in general; without the effort the goal doesn't always seem quite as valuable.

Donna Cummings

I like the idea of "save the world" being a pass/fail thing! It can really only be one or the other. I'm glad you like the idea of a bleak moment (since I don't want to be the only one! LOL) -- it just seems to fit scenarios a little better in my books.

Donna Cummings

Bren, thanks for commenting! I think you're right about this being a good life lesson--now if only I can keep it in mind! LOL

Terri Osburn

I'm a big fan of the black moment. What can I say? I'm a girl who likes to cry. At books and movies, nothing else. *narrows eyes to look tough*

For me, the black moment is when your protagonist's worst fears become her reality. She's afraid to let people get close because it always ends in heartbreak. But she lets a guy get close, and BAM, heartbreak.

But you're right about the purpose of this scene. How many times do we see breakups where one or the other yells "After all we've been through!" If they hadn't been through anything, who would care?

Donna Cummings

Terri, I'm a fan of the black moment, except for when I'm writing it. LOL I like the torture of reading a great black moment, wondering "how are they gonna fix this?", but I have difficulties doing the same to my own characters.

I can't say I *like* to cry, but there are sometimes when a sad movie or song is exactly what I *need* (it kind of recalibrates the hormone levels -- LOL).

I laughed at the "After all we've been through?" part -- that's so true -- who would care if they hadn't endured that!


Dh and I saw Toy Story 3 yesterday. DH is a big fan of black moments... Sat next to me and teared up, sniffed over and over and over. Black moments, bleak moments, end of the world moments, poignant moments... They all count for him.

Donna Cummings

Awww, Maureen, your DH sounds wonderful. I didn't think about Toy Story 3 having black moments. I could see poignant moments though. And I forget sometimes how these are meant to be cathartic for the reader/viewer, since they're experiencing all the tension buildup along the way. Thanks for reminding me of that. :)

Terri Osburn

This is the second time I've seen people talking about crying in Toy Story 3. We saw it Friday night and neither kiddo or I teared up. What the heck? LOL!

Donna Cummings

A couple of hard-hearted Hannahs? LOL I haven't seen it yet, so I'm not sure what I'll do. I'll report back though! :)


*snorts at Terri*

Please. She is a WEEPER. She makes Jude Law from The Holiday look macho with a stiff upper lip.

But I think Black Moments need to be BLACK. Ultra black. The kind of black like the food coloring--so black that when you eat the cupcake your teeth turn black.

Now, just because I think Black Moments need to be black doesn't mean I write black moments. My black moments are practically white because oddly enough, I hate conflict. I want everyone to get along. I enjoy angst in my books (not the level Terri does, but still significant), but I'm incapable of creating it myself. *LOL*

We're just too nice, Donna. That's our problems. We don't like causing trouble for anyone, not even FICTIONAL people, because we like our fictional people. And we definitely don't want to make trouble for people we LIKE. We need to get over it, my good woman.

Blacken it up. Your readers will be singing your praises if you do.

Donna Cummings

Hellie, I agree -- we are just TOO nice. LOL And I hope you have some advice on how to get over being mean to my characters. :) I've managed to go from light grey to a really dark charcoal grey moment for my characters, so I'm making progress. But I'm not sure I can go to the ultra black you're talking about. Probably because I'm not sure I'll be able to get my characters OUT of something that dark. LOL I guess I'll just have to keep practicing!


Well, I think it's just a matter of how BLACK is it to the character? If the character really thinks her life is over, her happiness is destroyed, her heart is shattered, and she wants to curl into a ball and die--then it's a BLACK moment.

Not everyone can have the sort of black moment where one's mother dies, the dog dies, your lover dumped you because you lied, and you've put on 5 pounds even though you've been eating healthy--you can't have that EVERY time because "my life is over" is subjective from person to person. An author just has to make us believe it's all over according to the character's belief.

Of course, J.K. Rowling makes her character walk into a forest and face his own death, but hey, we can't all do that.

Donna Cummings

I think you just explained it perfectly, Hellion! Since each character's background, goals, and motivations are going to be specific to them, it makes sense that how they define "black moment" is going to be different than it is for another character.

And I'm having a mini-black-moment similar to one you described: the first day of my new healthy eating and I've already GAINED 3 lbs. LOL My body got confused when I told it Wordcount UP, Weight DOWN. LOL

Terri Osburn

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read Hellie say she's too nice. It would have shot right out of my nose.

But she's right about one thing, BLACK moments are all relative. :)


there were a few really heavy moments in TS3 where it looked like everyone was toast. And the DH tears up pretty easily. Had a real reaction to last nights Deadliest Catch, too. Granted, watching Cap'n Phil fall was hell.

Jan O'Hara/Tartitude

You had me until you dissed the brussel sprouts. Now we have issues. ;)

I hear you on having difficult torturing people. I used to spend my waking days trying to alleviate suffering. It's a little bizarre to now spend them inventing ways to make them cry.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, a friend just went to TS3 yesterday and said how poignant it was, for her and her son. So when I go, I'm going to be prepared with plenty of tissues. I haven't watched Deadliest Catch, but I'm sure that would have been tough, from all I've heard about Cap'n Phil.

Donna Cummings

Terri, with this bunch you might as well have tissues ready all the time -- if you're not crying, you can use them for the unexpected beverage spewing. LOL

Donna Cummings

Jan, I wrote this BEFORE you sent your recipe, which I think I'm going to like actually. I'll definitely report back to you on that. :)

And you might be right about the reason for the difficulty in agonizing people. I've spent the majority of my career soothing ruffled feathers and appeasing and doing everything possible to keep conflict to a minimum. Now I've got to reverse all of that, and it's taking some practice.


HA! I think I spent my life trying to keep the peace, obey the rules and soothe troubled waters...it's so nice to embrace the chaos. Now and then the rules still sneak in there and I do believe in hugs and I'd rather sail a smooth seas than a rough...

But I like the idea of chaos and anarchy a great deal. Hence, often looking to save the world through disrupting control...

And serving brussel sprouts.

Yes, many poignant moments in TS3, with the Deadliest Catch? Oh, just a sobfest.

My god, what an incredible book the whole story of Cap'n Phil's life would make... I hope someone is out there writing it. And doing a good job!

Donna Cummings

Maureeen, I'm not sure I'm at the level yet where I can EMBRACE the chaos -- LOL -- but I definitely let it swirl and flow around me more frequently without getting TOO excitable. :) Or at least I think I can (now I sound like the Little Engine That Could -- LOL)

Looks like I better stay away from The Deadliest Catch -- everyone says how sad it is!

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