Saturday, April 16, 2005

Dark, Dark, Dark

I had a brilliant idea for a Regency romp, a light-hearted little story full of madcap adventures and humor. So tonight, as I thought more about it, the story took a dark and sad turn. Obviously an HEA is the promise, but the story has a dark turn full of painful emotions.

This happens to me everytime. I'm really not a dark person. But I love to write emotionally charged scenes. I enjoy putting two people in a room with something painful between them and let them go at each other.

Too often, I read romances where the author stops short of going for the juggler. The hero and heroine are ready to really break into a loud, difficult conflict and the maid walks in to tell them someone's dead or a family member is in trouble, something that diffuses the intensity of the situation. The hero and heroine get into some kind of trouble and they are so thrilled to be back together, the conflict is forgotten or at least pacified.

I really enjoy "Six Feet Under" on HBO. The writers are not afraid of conflict. I think it was the end of the second season and the two characters Nate discovers his fiancee Brenda has been unfaithful in a big way. These two go at each other with an intensity I'd never seen before on television. No holds barred, they cut to the quick of their conflict, baring their souls in a painful way.

We tend to avoid conflict in our day to day lives. I know I do. Yes, that means the 2 year old gets the cookie just so I don't have to fight with her. But isn't it far more interesting to watch when someone else takes on the battle? Isn't that why we watch "Jerry Springer" with such lurid fascination? Hence, we should try to do the same thing in our writing. If its bad, make it worse.

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