The Vulnerable Moment:
I had a writing tutor once, who discussed the purpose of the journey in every bildungsroman work. He spoke of the protagonist's journey towards what he called 'the vulnerable moment' in their character arc. In romance fiction, both central characters need to reach a place, where they face themselves and address what ever it is that stands between them, and love.
This Vulnerable Moment does not occur in the same place for every story. For some lovers, realising they love the other person is a vulnerable place for them, especially if they carry traumas from earlier failed relationships. This awareness that they are in love, may occur well before they feel able to articulate it, or act upon it (ie, propose, or some such physical manifestation of their strong feeling).
For another protagonist, they may be unafraid of revealing their feelings to themself, but desperately terrified of declaring their heart so openly. For them, this is their vulnerable moment.
The point is, some people feel more vulnerable facing themselves than facing other people. Others feel more exposed in a crowd. For me, this is my vulnerable moment. The first airplane journey I've taken since the pandemic restrictions lifted. The first time I've attended a festival like this one. Not the first time (I am happy to say), where I'll be meeting readers of my work, but the first for quite some time. I am very much looking forward to chatting to readers in person again.
Face in the Crowd:
I am the character who stares out at the ballroom, and hopes to cross it without attracting attention. Large crowds are undeniably intimidating - unless I am talking about books. So next Saturday 24 April, I will be facing my fears, and doing it with books.
Personal Appearance at the LA Times Festival of Books:
In case you missed my newsletter, I'm looking forward to meeting my US readers on:
Booth No: 959 Please come by and say hello!