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September 02, 2011


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Donna, for me your analysis of the black/bleak moment highlights the differences of romance fiction and real life. A major black moment in real life often leads on to disaster. The guy marries someone else and the girl sinks into clinical depression or even worse!

It emphasises that romance fiction should be classed as a subset of fantasy or a special art form. Perhaps that's true of most fiction, at least the page turning kind.

Symmetry is at the root of all this. One has to walk through the depths of despair before one can appreciate the elation of strolling on the heights. Getting the balance right is the secret to writing a great book.

God knew all about this before he created Adam and Eve. The glory and symmetry of landscape flora and fauna. The fractal symmetry observable everywhere. The Fibonacci sequence is also evident everywhere in beautiful plants and objects.

Yes, symmetry is the secret of success.

Did you have to mention Brussel sprouts! *wink*

Donna Cummings

Q, I agree that there are huge differences in fiction and real life. What's the quote? -- in fiction, things have to make sense. LOL So I would argue that fiction requires MORE symmetry than we actually experience in real life.

I think that's part of the comfort reading provides to us, and why we seek it out -- that feeling of "everything is going to be okay", an escape from the seeming randomness of life's events.

I love your descriptions, and your explanations. It's always a treat to see them.

And you KNOW I have to mention Brussels sprouts. LOL They are an abomination!


Interesting! I think I also prefer to use "The Bleak Moment" over the "Black Moment" or maybe...and this is just coming to me...there are or can be both in a story -- with differences. It's all very complex. LOL

I hadn't thought of it this way before, but I think my stories lean toward being one long "Bleak Moment" with the hero/heroine expecting Disaster with a capital D (The Black Moment). Hmmm. Sounds like a depressing story with pessimistic characters. Lovely! LOL

But somehow they aren't just glass-half-full people being miserable. Thank goodness, right? My stories are like the guy who finds out he has months to live or the world ends next week. The situation is impossible. I know it, the characters know it, and the reader knows it. Yep, no big secret with my Black Moment. But during the Bleak Moment, while the clock ticks down to Disaster, there's still hope of beating the odds. And what do you know, they do. :)

Like you, I don't like to see my characters go through extended periods of anguish. That "anguish" needs a lot of justification! That's probably why, in the early ideas of a story, I start with the Big Problem(s) being external and out of the control of the main characters so there's no blame involved. Then I *think* I won't run into The Big Misunderstanding kind of Black Moment that makes me cringe. But, wouldn't you know it, the imperfections of characters start to show up and I can see they have a few more things to sort out before a HEA -- even if the world doesn't end!

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I love this explanation. I think there should be that sense of foreboding, knowing that things won't be perfect for your characters--that something is trying to crush their happiness. (It makes us sound awful, doesn't it? LOL) I think there is plenty of room for Bleak Moments AND Black Moments in the same story.

And I can see where there's an external problem for them to deal with, until you have a chance to learn what their imperfections are. I think I do this too -- which is why I like being a pantser, because the characters reveal things to me in each scene, which helps me figure out future scenes.

It's great to see you here again. :) I always love your explanations of things!

Kari Marie White

I never thought about it this way before:
"They just want to know how the hero and heroine will get over their fears and let their love overcome the differences that should normally keep them apart."

I'm too easy on my characters. I'm going to have to re-evaluate though. Thank you!

Donna Cummings

Kari Marie, it's tough to be hard on your characters. I'm not sure I'm as tough as I should be -- but after writing this blog post, they at least know that I *could* be. LOL

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