I’m writing my third break up scene, and I am caught in the maybe-this-is-it, type-and-delete, it’s-all-trash, try-again cycle. Perhaps I’m spoiled. In The Long Way Home, I always knew how and why Max and Dori would break up. The black moment felt almost effortless when I wrote it. In Who Says You Can’t Go Home, the breakup is low key because all the drama involves a secondary character, and Saja just leaves.
But now I’m working on the break up scene in Feels Like Home to Me, and I can’t seem to make it work. I know what should happen. I know Caleb acts the jerk and Zan ends the relationship. But I can’t see what happens. One of the things I often do when I’m stuck is listen to music. Frequently something in the lyrics will spark an idea that ends the block. I've come up with a playlist of ten songs that cover the stages from fighting the idea of ending things through depression and you’ll be sorry to coming out on the other side believing that there is life after love gone bad. I'm listening to them, hoping for inspiration.
Here’s my list.
1. "Crazy," Patsy Cline
2. "Piece of My Heart," Janis Joplin
3. "Give Me One Good Reason," Tracy Chapman
4. "Crying," Roy Orbison
5. "Tonight I Want to Cry," Keith Urban
6. "Empty Chairs," Don McLean
7. "This Is Me You’re Talking to," Trisha Yearwood
8. "You’ll Think of Me," Keith Urban
9. "Red High Heels," Kellie Pickler
10. "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor
OK, heavy on country, I know. But I like country music, and country songs have given me some great ideas in the past.
What’s your advice for writing break up scenes? Do you have suggestions for my breakup playlist?