Have you ever read a scene that had your heart pumping faster and faster, and you couldn’t wait to get to the end of it to see what would happen, while also not wanting it to end? I don’t mean an action scene or one with zippy plot points; there are plenty of those. I mean an emotionally driven one. One where the characters have been built up and contain so many feelings and everything is conspiring to bring them to that specific point together? Where they say nothing but everything? Where they won’t admit their true feelings because they’re idiots, and the other character is left to figure it out, but they’re so dense they never will? Where you yell at your book and pull at the sides to the point the spine gets damaged from over-stretching?
I love scenes like that. They don’t happen often for me, but when they do, you can be sure I’m one of those readers that people almost call an ambulance for. My blood pressure is raised, my face red, even my hands are shaking. Readers know what’s happening because readers aren’t stupid like the characters. They get swept away (hopefully) and want the characters to just talk-it-out-already, not that they would be so open in their own lives. We read for a reason—to experience something we’d never do in real life—but for goodness sakes, SPEAK!
It has always been my goal to give my readers a scene like that. I have never been able to write one. I thought I had once, but it was more fluff than anything. It seemed like more because I had built it up in my head. However, it didn’t translate to the page like I envisioned. But I might have made progress this past week! The vulnerability of Ivy scene spiraled into a follow-up scene where tensions were high, and it all came tumbling out in broken sentences and half-spoken feelings that weren’t heard by either party. I read through it, and thought, “Huh, there are some parts in there that actually make me a bit irritated. Awesome!” Granted, I’m biased, but I’ll continue to flesh it out and cross my fingers that it translates as well as I hope. I’ll have to count on Gandalf (who hates emotions) to tell me if she has any after reading it. If she does, then that’s 100 points for me!
Happy writing and reading!