High Impact Moments
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
“I have fantastic news,” I tell Lauren Hartford. “Your doctor’s plane just crashed in the jungles of Costa Rica, thieves have stolen his medical supplies, and he’s running for his life with just the clothes on his back and no hope of ever returning home!”
Lauren’s response? “Squee!”
For Lauren, who’s working on A Wedding of Souls, the follow-up book to Celebrating the Tower Card, this really is fantastic news. As an editor, I’ve already told her that she must revise the first two chapters to the point of rewriting them—which is where we are now—but I wasn’t sure we’d be able to use the plane crash scene, even though we’d both wanted to.
She’d come back to me during the summer, wringing her hands and a little uncertain of whether to bring it up, but she’d had this sudden vision concerning the hero of the book she was revising at the time. It was an omigod moment for me when she described it. It had everything an editor wants to see in a book, including the high emotional impact, some amazing twists and turns that the reader will never guess, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and tear-your-heart-out emotion. But…the scene was also very controversial. And that’s where I wasn’t sure if we could do it.
I guess, for whatever reason, that book was delayed because it didn’t feel right then, but it does now and it’s close to being done.
The biggest decision in keeping the scene is the high impact feel to it. The controversy is part of that, yes, but the controversial issues are also part of why her protagonist is where he is and why he can’t get out of a disastrous situation on his own. Considering that the current in this scene is just under the surface throughout the book but that the book doesn’t really seem to be “about” this particular scene or even this particular protagonist, it could have been left out altogether and the reader would never know. In fact, the Wedding in A Wedding of Souls is someone else’s wedding that has an effect on the two protagonists. There are other emotional scenes in the book, but by comparison, they’re flat when it comes to this one. So, in spite of the controversy, I finally decided to keep it as a pay-off for the reader.
Because the reader deserves to read something that has high emotional impact.
I think life should be like that, too. It’s better than going through life without anything that impacts us emotionally, though I always thinks it’s best when the emotions impacted are intense feelings of love and joy.