What Did You Learn?

August 22, 2011

General Writing: Tension

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , — ax20 @ 9:34 am

Tension is such a key component to a manuscript (and one that is missing all too often from a new writer’s work) that it can never be described too often. Some ways to add tension are discussed here:

how to add tension to our work

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June 21, 2011

General Writing: Drama

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: , , , — ax20 @ 11:46 am

An important element of writing is the conflict, drama, tension, and stakes of the story. What is keeping the main characters from their goals? Here is a good post discussing some of the ways to add these things into your story:
Where to find drama in your writing

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.

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