We all have those moments in a book that we are really enjoying. You know, where you think the protagonist has done what they set out to do or you just settle into really, really liking a character and getting used to their voice when....
You all know the feeling I'm talking about. My fellow BWBers know EXACTLY what I'm talking about because the High Priest of this is George RR Martin. I mean: Ned Stark's fate, Jaime's hand, the Red Freakin' Wedding, the end of AFFC. The man mastered the art of kicking his readers squarely in the junk...and we love him for it.
Suzanne Collins proved to be another master of this literary technique. I was sick to my stomach at the end of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire left me so emotionally scarred that it's been almost 2 years since I read the book and I still can't read Mockingjay, I just don't know if I can handle it. Seriously.
I write this because I think that I wrote my "kicked in the ****" scene last night and I was so jarred by it, so to speak, that I actually couldn't move on to the next chapter because I needed to recollect my thoughts. Seriously.
Now, I know mine isn't the steel toe to the soft parts that the above mentioned examples are, it's more of a catching the corner of the lab table in biology class, glancing blow kind of a thing, but it still has a degree of impact in the story. It's the moment in the story when it feels like the stakes have changed, usually for the worse. There is even a part of me that thinks my betas will read the section and think that I'm overestimating the gravity of the scene, but it really feels like I've done something I've never done before in my writing.
Last night I hit the point in the book where suddenly the risk has become very real. I don't know if I've ever written anything like this and it made me squirm a little. Not in a bad way, but a way that made me very, very uncomfortable. All of a sudden, my little book about kids dealing with the sins of their parents switched from being indirect to direct. They were now involved. And that changes a lot about the story itself.
The next chapters are going to move much faster. It's not going to take me a shorter time to write them, but they are going to be in a constant state of movement and action. The stakes have been raised now and my characters are going to have to do things that they might not have done earlier in the book. And I don't know if that was my intent for them, but it's a good thing that's what they decided to do.
As anxious as I'm painting myself in this, I'm excited too. It means I'm taking risks as a writer. (A motif in my life for the last seven months, by the way.) It means I'm growing as a writer.
I start the second chapter of this section, the beginning of a cycle of, as one of my betas called it, PB&J sections rotating around the three main characters. (Oooh, maybe a return of the trope of the week and talking about the number 3????) Sprinkle in a mad princess (should I have said SPOILER alert) and a new threat and Spring's Tempest will be done!
Victory is mine!