What Did You Learn?

May 25, 2010

General Writing: Heightening the Tension

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , — ax20 @ 4:23 pm

Tension is a key part of any story. Who wants to read about nothing but happiness? It’s just not that interesting.

One way that you can heighten the tension is to build detail in a scene. The particular details are key of course–the feeling in the air, the expression on someone’s face, the way they are standing, noises in the air, the weather, etc. Shorter words and sentences speed up the pace.

Another option is to create danger. This could be literal danger (explosions and bullets) or it could be something more subtle (like a character’s secret is close to being discovered). This forces your character to act–desperately, usually.

Small spaces are also a good idea. What would be most tense–being stuck with an ex outdoors, in a room, or in an elevator? The less space, the less ability to hide and/or escape.

Time limits are another a excellent way to increase tension. When time is running out, everything gets the sense of now or never.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: