Transitions: Where Do I Go From Here?

 In writing we call transitions turning points. The turning point of all turning points is known as, ta da, the black moment. Did you hear the drum roll and sotto voice that accompanied those infamous two words? Black moment. You know, when the lights go out and everyone screams in the dark.

Transition means: the passage from one place or state to another; change.

In writing, transitions turn the plot a different direction. They are specific bursts of energy to breathe life and renewed interest into your story. A car wreck, an unwelcome discovery, or an unexpected kiss can all be turning points.

The black moment comes when your characters face the ultimate test of their love. Can they overcome this obstacle? Will their love prevail? Can their relationship survive? Well, of course it can. We are romance writers! The only kind of endings we have are Happily Ever Afters.

In life transitions aren't always so neat and clean. They often come with unresolved messes that hang around forever. Sometimes they may be resolved, but no one is happy about it. I think that’s one of the main reasons people read and write. Life often goes tilt with no HEA in sight. Reading lets us enjoy a nice neat ending where all the problems work out well. We get the satisfaction of going, “Ahh!” instead of, “Not again!”

My life has recently made another transition. Not one I was looking forward to. Have all the loose ends been tied up? Is everyone okay with what happened? Is life all happy, happy, joy, joy? Nope, but that’s okay. I’m getting used to messes. Throw in a little chaos and let’s see what happens. In other words, bring it on!

When it all gets to be too much, I’ll go lose myself in a good book. Or better yet, go write the next scene in my latest WIP. Chaos, pain, loss and angst are what make for good emotional fodder. If life was all love, peace and harmony, what would we have to write about? Why would we want to? I don’t know about you, but perpetually optimistic, everything has a sunny side stories often make me want to gag. I’m too realistic.

So, the next time life throws you a curve ball and you feel a little off balance, put that emotion into your latest creation. Take that mess and milk it for all it’s worth. Or plop your hiney onto the nearest couch and reach for the comfort of an old friend. No, not chocolate! Okay, you can have both, but I meant a favorite book. One that satisfies your soul when it’s in a tizzy and makes you go, ahhh! If you’re really on a roll, eat that chocolate and read while soaking in a hot tub :)

One author that does that for me is Elizabeth Peters. I can read Crocodile On The Sandbank every year. It never grows old, even though I knew who the bad guy was before I finished it the first time. Her writing brings action, adventure, romance, spunk and portrays a truly liberated female. She loves her man, but she does what she thinks is right. Not to spite him, but because she is her own person.

I like that. It makes me feel more able to cope. Plus, it gives me hope that there’s an Emerson out there somewhere waiting for me. Someone who can take a little spunk and spitfire.


Pat Davids said...

If I were stranded on a deserted island and could take only one novel with me, it would be Crocodile On The Sandbank.

Thank you for reminding me how much I enjoy Elizabeth Peter's work. I'm going to dig that one out of my favorites shelf and read it again.

Life throws curve balls to us all. Swing at them or don't swing at them, but keep your head in the game, Becky. Hugs

Becky A said...

Hi Pat,
I'd never make it with only one of her books. Summer of the Dragon rates only one point less than Crocodile on the Sandbank. Legend in Green Velvet makes a real close third. I've read all three many times and they never get old. I hope I can write books like that some day.

If someone throws a ball at me and I have a bat, I'm gonna swing. Then they better duck. I had a penchant for buzzing the pitcher when I used to play.

I still do. Ask my grandkids!

Were any of her books ever made into movies?

Penny Rader said...

I haven't read Elizabeth Peters, but I do have several authors who soothe my soul: J.D. Robb, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Pappano, Robyn Carr, Kristin Hannah, Catherine Anderson.

I did stop reading another favorite author, who wrote amazing stories with a mix of faith and/or legal and/or medical issues. Her stories always surprised me and gave me something to think about. I stopped reading her books last year or so when she killed off a character and I didn't think it had added anything to the story. She had started to kill off characters in several earlier books. I don't read books just to end up all angry at the end, so I'm done with her.