Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writing Romance Is Like... A Horror Movie

Thanks for letting me stop by on my blog tour, Samantha!

Since November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…
And every blog stop has a difference comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to, or Come join the fun!!

And now…
Writing Romance Is Like… A Horror Movie: the worst part is when it looks like it’s all over…

I’ve hated horror movies since I saw Child’s Play as a teen. The idea of toys coming to life still freaks me out (yes, even Toy Story a little. Sorry Pixar). And I really hate that part of the movie where the bad evil whatever-it-is seems to have been bested. He/she/ it lays there apparently dead, so what do the main characters do? They poke him. They don’t run as fast as they can in the other direction. They don’t call for help. They don’t even arm themselves with a chainsaw or ax. They just sidle up and poke him.

And his eyes fly open and he grabs them. And he always has a chainsaw or ax.

I. Hate. That. Part.

I don’t do horror anymore. Ever. Seriously. I’m almost exclusively a romantic—movies and books.

But there is a part in romances I hate too. I hate reading and writing it. The Dark Moment. That moment when all seems lost. The hero and heroine will never be together. Someone screwed up and they’ll be miserable forever. Apart.

Now I say hate, but I don’t really mean it (oh, I mean it about the horror movies!). I totally get that the Dark Moment is key. We have to see them work it out, see what they’re willing to sacrifice, what they’re wiling to do. They have to overcome, forgive, and fight for each other. Totally get it. It makes the resolution—the I’ll-do-anything-for-you moment—rewarding, the Happily Ever After believable. It makes us all give that satisfied sigh.

Have you seen Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore? If not, there’s that moment at the end where she’s standing out there in the middle of the baseball field, in front of everyone, waiting as the clock counts down for the guy to walk out there and kiss her. And he doesn’t come. And he doesn’t come. The clock winds down. Her smile fades. Her heart breaks.

Man. Even though I know what happens, I hate that part.

(spoiler alert!) Then he shows up. He runs down the steps, jogs onto the field, strides purposefully toward her and kisses her. Really kisses her.

And I cheer every single time!

So, yeah, I get it. We need the moment of heartbreak to really love the happily ever after.

Still, I hate it. Because it gets to me. Much as that evil-come-back-to-life makes my night sleep deprived, tearing my beloved hero and heroine apart upsets me.

But I guess if it didn’t, that means I didn’t care about them and then I (or the author/ screenwriter/ etc) would have failed.

Hmm. Good point.

Join me at my next stop! November 23rd at JC Wilder’s blog!

Excerpt, Just Like That (one those oh-no-why’d-he-do-that? scenes)
Erin Nicholas
“Good,” he said again, as she reached for him. “Then I think you should call Matt. Tonight.”

She froze with her arm extended toward him. “Matt?”

“Matt Dawson.”

Her arm dropped. “What are you talking about?”

“Matt is the perfect guy for you.”

The pounding of her heart in her ears turned to a strange rushing sound. “You think I should ask Matt Dawson out?”

“Yes. Unless you want him to ask you. I know he’s interested. I’ll tell him—”

“No!” She was almost certain that she was going to vomit.

“He’d be an imbecile to not be interested, Dani. I’ll subtly hint that—”

“God, no,” she said firmly.

She was such an idiot. She’d thought Sam was talking about himself. One more second and she would have said something completely humiliating. “I’ll, um… I’ll take care of it.”

Of course, humiliation would likely be an improvement over the sick to her stomach, tight in the chest, stinging behind the eyes she was feeling now. There was no way she was calling Matt—or any other guy. Ever probably. But she wasn’t going to tell Sam he’d ruined her for other men. He was quite clearly done with whatever it was they’d been doing.

She wanted to bang her head against the side of his car, but thought that would be an obvious sign that she wasn’t okay. Instead, she calmly walked back and got into the car. On the way back to the church, Danika finally processed and admitted into her conscious mind the fact that Sam really was asking her to date another man.

“Do you want his home number?” Sam asked as he pulled up next to her car.

She looked at him quickly. He sounded a little sick himself. “No. I’ll be seeing him.”

“You will?”

Was that a frown she saw on her new matchmaker’s face? She hoped so.

“Yeah.” She held up her right wrist.

“Oh, right.” He did frown this time. “You’re going to ask him out during a checkup?”



“I’ll wait until after the checkup.”

Another frown. “Next Thursday, right?”

“Right.” The frown increased. “Oh.”

Was that too soon? Or waiting too long in Sam’s opinion? She couldn’t care less.

She wrenched open her car door and got out, slamming it behind her, but unable to get rid of enough adrenaline.

“Dani are you…okay?”

She whipped around to find him standing beside the car, watching her worriedly.

He was an idiot, she decided. He was an idiot if he thought she could be okay with this. He was an idiot to think that Matt Dawson could replace him for her. He was an idiot if he didn’t want to be with her himself.

“You bet,” she said with forced cheeriness. “I’m fantastic.”

Something softened in his face. “I know.”

And she wanted to smack him.

He knew she was fantastic? Sure. Right. Of course. Because he was pawning her off on another man before she could get needier with him.

She was just fucking fantastic.

She tipped her chin up and met his eyes. “Goodbye, Sam.”

Then she turned and walked away. From Sam Bradford. Something she would never have guessed she’d ever want to do. But in that moment, he was the last person she wanted to be with. It probably wouldn’t last, but she was going to enjoy a few seconds of not wanting to cry, curl into a ball, or smash something.

More on Erin


Bookwyrm369 said...

You're right, Erin, I hate that Dark Moment too - it always makes me twist and squirm but I can get through it knowing there will be a happy ending and it will be worth all the pain!

smaccall @

Cathy M said...

As long as the dark moment isn't too angsty, or goes on for chapters, I'm good, plus I gotta have my satisfying HEA.

I'm with you on the no horror thing. Stopped watching them after The Exorcist had me sleeping with 6night lights on for a week, lol.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Erin Nicholas said...

Sarah and Cathy, thanks for stopping by! Glad I'm not alone on the horror movie and dark moment thing :) Never seen the Exorcist-- never going to! *G*

lindseye said...

Fluffy bunny reader so no horror ever. I like some angst about whether the H/h will get together but not overly long. Always want a HEA so I know the "pain" was worth it.

linze_e at

Erin Nicholas said...

Lindseye-- fluffy bunny reader-- love that term! Thanks to everyone who stopped by! The winner of a choice from my back list is Cathy!!!
Cathy e-mail me with the title and e-format you perfer at!
Couple more stops everyone! Nov
23rd is at JC Wilder's blog!

Cathy M said...

Thank you very much, Erin. I zipped you an email this morning.

Zina said...

Ah, MY heart hurts and I want to cry, I love it though, I love those Dark moments and you're right we have to have them so that we can enjoy the really good moments. Such a good excerpt but should Sam get hit in the head with a cast iron frying pan, don't look at me, the girl sitting next to me did it.

Zina said...

Opps, forgot the email, sorry.
seawitch6464 @

Anonymous said...