This week on Hide And Create, Moses Siregar, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, and Jaye Wells talk about creating tension.
Maybe it need not be said, but don’t use one of the tools we talked about in this episode, use a bunch of them and mash them together. Take a time-bomb, use short, punchy sentences, be unpredictable, and present lose-lose choices all in one story, and really drag your readers through the trenches before giving them the release of a satisfying conclusion.
A final note. If you fear that your tension is getting stale, the cause is probably that you’re hitting the same emotional beat too many times, and you and your readers are going deaf to it. When that’s happening you have to defeat your reader’s expectations and use an opposing emotional beat. If everything is haha-funny, and you think that your humor is flagging and things just aren’t as amusing, throw in something profound, like Jack Palance telling you the secret of life. If you’ve got action-action-action, sigh, action-action, change it up and throw in a romantic beat or a mystery beat. This is an emotional twist, like a plot twist except it doesn’t affect the story, it affects the mood.
As promised, here is the link to Margie Lawson and her workshops that Jaye gushed over. Also to David Farland who has marvelous things to teach about creating tension and all things writing related.