yesterday I had an epiphany about the moment of capitulation – to my mind the hardest part of a romance to write well. It is the moment when the hero/heroine give in to being together, which means it’s also the moment when all those conflicts you’ve worked so hard at to keep them apart for a whole novel are no longer enough to keep them apart.
You can see why is so often feels contrived and unconvincing.
When my hero’s deception becomes clear to my heroine, things fall out between them. Trust is broken. And here’s the difficulty of capitulation – how do you come back from that? In a convincing, this-love-is-forever kind of way?
So here’s the epiphany: That crisis does break something between them. It does make it impossible for them to be as they were. So what it has to do instead is make it possible for them to be together in a new way – the experience of the crisis has to transform them into the people who can love forever.
I know. I should be knighted or something.
Oooooh, I love it!
thanks Ebs! those eureka writing moments are so much rarer than they could be, but this was a definite light-bulb
What brought this on? Something you’re reading/watching?
it was a conversation I was having with Cat (she’s my crit partner, and also the person who introduced me to Lymond – she has a lot of good thoughts about plotting and things).
She was commenting that writers seem scared to change the status quo between their characters after the initial change that generally begins a story. As in, they very rarely have the way things are between characters change unalterably later in the story.
She and I were both struggling with how to let things fall out between our characters, because it seems an impossible thing to bring them back from.
The two things just sort of clicked in my head: that if this crisis IS a change in status quo, then it has to change them TO the way you want them to be together in the end.
It makes so much sense! That the point of crisis achieves a lot more than just conveniently pulling the hero/heroine apart before they can get back together. It turns it into a positive thing, which I like.
(sorry, that’s pretty much just the blog post all over again! 🙂 but I’m quite taken with the idea)