Monday, April 5, 2010

D is for Duh!

Today's A-Z Blogging Challenge letter is "D" as in Duh!...or maybe, Drama.  There are certain elements to estblishing Drama in fiction.  I wrote about one of the elements earlier when in my post about conflict, last month.

What I want to explore today is the element of Drama that makes you bite your nails and yell at the book. I'm talking about the collosally stupid decisions that characters make in the flustered moments of a dramatic scene.  My husband is reading a suspense novel by a popular author and I peroidically see he cringe or suck in his breath through his teeth.  He even threw the book down once, disgusted...only to pick it back up  a few seconds later.  That's a good read. What he's reacting to is the Duh! decisions the character is making...hiding the body, accidentlly leaving his GPS device behind in the woods, using something that can be tied to his work to weigh down the body...dumb decicions, sure...but understandable given the circumstances.

An important element of Drama is the emotion, the gut twisting ride the reader takes with the main character. From surging emotions to disproportionate reactions, the Drama created by the consequences of bad decisions on the part of the main character hightens the reader's suspense. If you're interested, Christian Fiction Online Magazine has a great article on drama and the reader, pulling them back from the brink of disaster.

I write Romance/Suspense, so a large part of my Drama is based on emotional conflict. Misunderstanding, failure to communicate, insecurity...these all come straight from Duh! moments, but they're relatable because we've been there. My question to you is this: What is your favorite Dramatic scene ever...from young Skywalker learning about his father while dangling over the abyss to Mr. Darcy's proposal at Rosling Park, movie or book. What set you're heart in motion?

Until next time, Go Write!

 Photograph by epSos.de, Uploaded on February 21, 2010.  Photograph by Lin Pernille, Uploaded on March 31, 2007.

11 comments:

Lorena G. Sims said...

Comes from Duh! moments..I like it and sounds like interesting to read. Well you be posting here what you write?

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Excellent post. It sure takes talent to make your reader throw a book down in frustration! What was your husband reading?

Strictly Ballroom. Movie full of amazing Duh! moments :)

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

A very good post and most enjoyable to read.

Yvonne.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hey, Lorena G. Sims! Yes, I will be posting my work on this blog on the 10th...for my "Murder Scene Blogfest" entry. And again on the 11th, for the "Bar Scene Blogfest". Thanks for the interest.

Erin said...

I threw down a book in disgust and frustration, but then kept thinking about it and ended up finishing it (after a few more "that's it, that is too disturbing" moments). That book was Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory and, while I enjoy her writing and many of her books, I would not recommend that one to anyone. Perhaps I'm too squeamish.

The dramatic moment that comes to mind is in Dangerous Liasons when Michelle Pfeifer's character looses her composure and is surrendering to Valmont... and he just walks away. Intense.

Watery Tart said...

Great post! I love emotional conflict, and I HATE stupid characters (I have no patience for them at all unless the REASON for their stupidity is made clear and there is growth in the book). I always prefer when their bad decisions are because they are faced with a bad choice and a WORSE choice, so the reader is rooting for them instead of trying to slap them or throw them across the room.

Gregg said...

Interesting post. I do not read fiction so I don't come across duh moments. But I was glad to learn that they occurr.

Shannon said...

Wow, I will have to think about that question! Following you now, thanks for the comment on my blog post Trees That Wood. Blessings!

Will Burke said...

That's crazy! Tasty irony. favorite dramatic moment? Death of Serius Black in Harry Potter. Order of the Pheonix? First one that came to mind.

Freckles said...

That was a very good post. I greatly enjoyed the part where your husband "threw the book down once, disgusted..." I myself have done that on occasion. Keep up the good work!

Tori Cooper said...

Interesting... I guess that's why I'm not much into fiction... I get so into it that it messes with my emotions... I just can't handle it! Lol! Thank you for visiting my blog... happy blogging!