black moment, conflict, plot

Black Moments

I’m working on a synopsis for my next project, a speculative piece of fiction. I’ve taken Camy Tang’s class on the Synopsis, so I know what to do, yet I am struggling with finding the black moment. You know, the main conflict that throws the main character under the bus. The conflict that takes the hero or heroine to the crossroads where they question, ponder and come to a new knowledge about themselves and their situation.

So why am I struggling? I don’t know. Sometimes it’s hard to be mean to my characters. In my last book my heroine was beaten (she was dressed as a boy and well, it’s medieval times and people brawled back then!) so I suppose I don’t really have trouble being mean. But in the contemporary world, you don’t always have the physical brutality of earlier eras. You have the politically correct, sanitized world of the 21st century.

Since it’s speculative, there is a bit of magic in it (not witches or anything like that), so with that thrown in, it gives a different spin on things for me and it is difficult to spin a plot that weaves the spiritual thread in with the “magical” element. I’m mulling things over and trying out different catastrophic plot points to see what works and what doesn’t. So far the “doesn’t” is winning out over the “does”, but I’ll keep trying.

BECAUSE…I am ready to start a new story. This is the week…I feel it. And if it doesn’t come to me by the weekend, I’m starting anyway.

Who else has trouble with conflict in their story? Any black moment surprises?