For the writers among us… as you’re writing a book, what scenes do you look forward to? What is it that keeps you motivated and progressing? Is it the promise of bringing your h/h together, or the sick thrill of tearing them apart?

Be honest, now.
I always thought my answer was the former, but today I’m not so sure.

Readers… uh, same question. Only with “reading” instead of “writing”.

18 comments to “Question du jour”

  1. terrio
    · November 30th, 2007 at 7:30 am · Link

    I look forward to writing the scenes where my h/h really start making progress. The ones in which one word or line is spoken and the reader gets the “Aha!” moment. Progress is what I like to see in a book.

    But I admit I’m looking forward to writing that black moment. I’ve had it in my head for so long and can see it so clearly. I just know I’m going to bawl and so is the reader (fingers crossed) and for some strange reason that makes me happy. LOL!

  2. Janga
    · November 30th, 2007 at 7:50 am · Link

    I look forward to writing the last word. 🙂

    Seriously, the two scenes I have had the most fun writing were the black moment and the finallove scene. Both were moments when I felt as if I could say, as poet James Dickey used to say at his readings, “Damn, that’s good!” On the other hand, I loathe writing the stitch-together scenes when I waver on what to include without turning the scene into info dump. Too often, with those scenes, I find myself saying, “Damn, that’s crap!”

  3. CM
    · November 30th, 2007 at 7:52 am · Link


    I’m not really sure why I write. Sometimes I like beating them up. Sometimes I like bringing them together. But like Janga, I just hate writing the scenes I “have” to write to bring together the scenes I like writing.

    Kill me now. 🙂

  4. Tessa Dare
    · November 30th, 2007 at 9:46 am · Link

    Terri – I know what you mean, about looking forward to that black moment. I look forward to it and dread it all at the same time. In GOTH, I put off writing it forever – I wrote what lead up to it, what followed it. But it was really hard for me to write the actual scene. Then it was hard for me to revise it. It’s still hard for me to read it. But partly, it’s because it feels so gut-churning and so raw to me, even now… so I guess that’s a good thing.

    Janga, I can safely say that you are not writing anything that’s crap. But I hear your and CM’s frustration on the connecting scenes. I’m so tempted to just leave them out, because part of me says, “why am I waiting to get the good part – it should all be good parts!” But then, I guess sometimes a reader needs a little break, a bit of levity, a calm before the storm. Those scenes have their place. The challenge is making a quiet scene as engrossing and entertaining as the “louder” scenes.

    I guess the more I think about it, I look forward to the love scenes. Not just because it’s fun to write the action, but because I always try to make those scenes turning points. Perhaps things turn for the better, perhaps they for the worse – but the romantic relationship is irrevocably changed, and the characters are at their most vulnerable.

  5. Camilla Bartley
    · November 30th, 2007 at 9:53 am · Link

    Tear them apart! I tend to look forward to the black moment and climax when the h/h are at the point of no return, when the tiniest little thing can make or break their HEA. It’s a roller-coaster thrill ride I can’t ignore even when writing “light” or “screwball” romances, and why I pour over etiquette manuals to find the social details that can cause anguish.

    I’m a sadist that way. *g*

  6. Alice Audrey
    · November 30th, 2007 at 10:14 am · Link

    It all depends on the book. Sometimes I like the getting together best. Sometimes the black moment. Often I do a bit of both in the same scene. Always the scenes I most look forward to writing are the ones that are clearest in my mind. 😀 In my current WIP, the next one coming it is simply laying on the ground, looking at the stars and talking

  7. Jacqueline Barbour
    · November 30th, 2007 at 2:25 pm · Link

    I have a hard time with black moments, I suppose, because I usually love my characters and don’t want to be mean to them.

    OTOH, I totally see Janga’s and CM’s point about the “connecting” scenes. Those scenes, which are often not as fully formed in my head as the pivotal ones, can be a real hair-puller to write.

    I have to admit I started a new, very different project earlier this week and I’ve loved writing every word. It’s short (only 12.5K, I think) and I’m already almost 5,000 words into it after just two and a half days. Every scene in it is already right there on the tip of my fingers, so it’s just flowing like water and there’s NO part I’m not looking forward to writing.

    Would that it were always so easy!

  8. Darcy Burke
    · November 30th, 2007 at 2:33 pm · Link

    Having my current WIP storyboarding makes me anxious to write a lot of scenes. Because they’re mapped out, I “see” them in their chronology and the character arc and I can’t wait to write them. But, one of my CPs will tell you that I have a nasty habit of skipping over stuff I need to include (usually to get to the part with the h/h because that’s what I like best). I have a scene in the current WIP where the heroine is delousing orphans (yes!) and I only showed her delousing the last one. One of my CPs said, “Wait! How did she feel about delousing them to begin with?” Duh. So, I went back and put in the first couple of boys she had to check and it was a hilarious little bit for my fish-out-of-water heroine. So, take the time to smell, er write, those flowers.

  9. Tessa Dare
    · November 30th, 2007 at 3:02 pm · Link

    Hm. So Camilla casts one vote for angst, Jacqueline one vote against. AA and Darcy encourage taking time to gaze at the stars, smell the flowers, and delouse the orphans.

    Darcy, I hear you on the temptation to skip ahead. I’m feeling it really strong right now, but resisting. Barely. In my case, I have to take time to milk the goats.

  10. Renee Lynn Scott
    · November 30th, 2007 at 8:45 pm · Link

    Honestly, and purely as a reader not as a writer, it is when they are torn apart that has me turning the page. I’m almost 100% positive that the story will end in HEA, so when I get to that hook that leaves the H/H torn apart curiosity drives me to see how the writer is going to bring them back together.

  11. Santa
    · November 30th, 2007 at 9:51 pm · Link

    I loved writing my black moment because that’s when my h/h really start to grow…apart but it’s still growing.

    But it is the connecting scenes that get me. How much comraderie can one reader stand? Or do they really want to know how cheese is made? Fear not, that scene’s been slashed.

  12. Lenora Bell
    · December 1st, 2007 at 12:35 pm · Link

    I love to write the naughty bits.

  13. India Carolina
    · December 1st, 2007 at 2:26 pm · Link

    I love to write any scene where my muse makes an appearance–or more like the characters make an appearance and guide the scene.

    Some of my favorite scenes to write have been the ones I dreaded rewriting because they sucked so hard. Then somehow, the muse showed up and they wound up among my favorite scenes.

  14. lacey kaye
    · December 1st, 2007 at 5:34 pm · Link

    I love to write scenes with men. Silly, straight, strong, virile, ridiculous, austere, silent, chatty, rich, poor–if there’s a man in the scene, I’m happy. Which is probably why all my heroines have two suitors. So many fabulous men in the world, so little time.

  15. Ervin A.
    · December 2nd, 2007 at 3:13 am · Link

    I guess I’m the opposite of Lacey. I love writing scenes with women. I find women infinitely more interesting than men. And I’m a sucker for a good romance, a funny meet-cute, a peroid of wooing, a happy ending. It’s almost painful for me to read the black moments, because I just want everyone to be happy. But when I’m writing, it’s different. I can write dark times far better than I can write happy times. Weird.

  16. Terry Stone
    · December 2nd, 2007 at 9:06 am · Link

    Tessa, the writer in me likes writing the scenes where there is snappy and suggestive dialogue, I think it is the irrevant smarta$$ in me. Actually, I like everything but writing the ending, I hate to use trite phrases and am currently racking my brain for a better ending scene.

    As a reader, I love the scenes where they are falling in love. The small touches and long glances, I LOVE those.

  17. Elyssa Papa
    · December 3rd, 2007 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I love writing kisses.

    And I love writing fights. Love it when the heroine and hero go toe-to-toe with one another… becuase you can tell a lot from someone with how he/she fights.

    Black moments are just part of the story, but even I get surprised with how the characters react or when the supposed plan black moment changes into something much worse than imagined.

    I don’t like writing the end because I now know it’s really only the beginning. But ironically enough, I can’t wait until I get there too.

  18. Erica Ridley
    · December 3rd, 2007 at 7:55 pm · Link

    I love writing the super-conflicty scenes between my h/h. The scenes where you’ve been building up the tension and you know the train wreck is right around the corner. Those scenes are fun.

    Also love the high-ST scenes where the h/h are hot for each other but aren’t yet admitting it to themselves, let alone to each other. Where they notice every tiny thing, but try and play it off, until–oops!–she finds herself up against the nearest wall, or what-have-you.

    Those scenes are also fun. =)