I've always pictured a romance storyline something like this:
The beginning hook. GOTCHA. I wanna read more!
And it gets worse,
And a little more worse.
And still even more worse.
Until HOLY CRAP, the unthinkable happens.
These characters will NEVER be able to get together now!
But... something happens, and things are redeemed.
They characters kiss and make up.
And life happily ever after!
Now, if you turn your head sideways and look at the above steps... you'll notice that it reminds you of what a story line should look like too when measuring the degree of tension!
Look a little
LIKE THIS RIGHT HERE!
And then it
Okay, if you're not a visual person (or can't see looking sideways) you're probably really confused.
My point is this.
It's the need for a "calm before the storm" if you will. That moment everything SEEMS to be working swimmingly, but as a reader, you are holding your breath, because you KNOW something just terrible is about to happen.
The calm almost makes the tension of the black moment even bigger.
It's like when your toddler takes a really big, quiet breath, right before he/she issues the loudest scream you've ever heard.
Some movie examples:
Of course, she runs. He chases her. Thus, the black moment.
The Proposal. Mean heroine (anyone who says you MUST have a likeable heroine at the beginning, watch this movie!) and good guy, fake engagement in order for her to not be deported. They hate each other, but are forced to vacation together in Alaska at his parents house. They still think they hate each other, but inside each of them starts to fall for the other. And then the fake wedding comes, and by then, you can tell they are in love. Fake or not, they are getting married! No deportation, they can finally admit their feelings, and they are married, so WOOHOO. But that's too easy. And as she walks down the aisle, we're all thinking, "what's gonna happen? What's gonna stop this? It CAN'T be this easy!" Then she turns around, and the rest, you have to watch the movie to find out!
Some book examples:
Well, here is the thing. There are a ton of them. So, I thought I'd let YOU share some of your favorite calms before the storms from books you've read. Can you pick any out?