In life, we sometimes are grabbed by a moment. It could be a conversation we have, something we notice or maybe even an image we see online. It's that moment that we find ourselves replaying in our minds later because there's something powerful that has connected with you. There's a reason.
When it comes to my writing, I often find that it's the moments I notice in television, movies, the news, in music, books or just everyday life that give me a moment of pause that often come creeping into my own writing in a powerful way. There's a reason why that one, specific moment or even split second has grabbed me and it's important to investigate and to also remind myself that art is made up of a collection of powerful moments that should stick with the reader.
One example I often give is the television show, Ray Donovan. If you're familiar with the show, you know that Donovan was brought up by a slightly rough around the edges family (who are featured on the show, as a constant reminder of that fact) and now works with the rich and famous of either LA or New York City. I had a 'moment of pause' with this specific show when I first watched Ray Donovan, dressed in an expensive suit, go to his expensive car and take out a baseball bat which he, in turn, used to beat the piss out of someone. I was captivated by this scene more than if he had just punched the guy or taken out a gun and shot him because it was completely unexpected (unpredictable) and not something I thought I'd see from a man in an Armani suit (contradiction). The bottom line is that my 'moment of pause' that really drew me in also made the show more memorable to me. When I took a deeper look, I realized it was actually the contradiction and unpredictability that captured me, therefore it was important that I also show it in my own work.
There are various other scenes in television and movies that captivate me, stuck with me over the years and I, in turn, have a goal of creating those same kinds of scenes in my books. I think there's something amazing about having a comment, a visual or even a character themselves that captivates an audience. And at the end of the day, isn't that every artist's goal?