by Erica Vetsch
Last week, I was in ‘Deadline Mode.’ I had a December 1st deadline, and I was sweating finishing the story. For some reason, this novella was not submitting to being written. For some reason, try as I might, I just wasn’t feeling this story. For some reason, I was ready to panic! I spent hours at my local coffee shop typing away, going back and editing, streamlining, and basically pulling my hair out trying to finish this story.
Something was wrong with this plot, the characters were lifeless, the scenes disjointed. Argh! I needed to write like my hair was on fire, but I was slogging through ice-cold molasses instead.
This wasn’t the first time I’d encountered this issue with a story. And I knew I had to work through it. I had keep writing until I reached…
That One Moment.
I was in need of That One Moment in the story when I could visualize the scene where both my reader and I were going to fall in love with my hero.
Romance readers want a hero they can fall in love with, someone who does or says or is the very thing the story and the heroine needs at just the moment she needs him to do or say or be the right thing. They want a swoon-worthy, self-sacrificing or self-revealing action that sweeps them away.
Once I could visualize that scene in this story, woosh! The words just flew and I was able to both finish the first draft, and go back and layer in the foreshadowing of the crucial scene so that when it arrived, it would feel organic to the story.
Every good story needs a pivotal moment. In romance, it’s the moment when the reader falls in love with the hero. In a western, it’s the moment when the hero stands by his ideals, no matter what it will cost him. In a comedy, it’s when the main character lets you peek behind the hilarious façade to see the vulnerable, possibly wounded person behind the clowning.
Can you think of a movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read where That One Moment stands out to you? If you’re a writer, have you ever struggled with writing a story until you hit That One Moment?