Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tension

Hi, folks. I hope you have written pages and pages of great stuff this week. A friend of mine was reading my work in progress and said it was exciting up to a point and then the story lost all tension. Ouch.

Tension is a part of storytelling. Lack of story tension for me is almost always the same cause, I am afraid to bring my character on scene during the "bad stuff." The side character dies but my main character hears about it. I have to make the brave revisions and bring my main character into the thick of things.

Things always seem flat if the action is happening outside the page. I see this in work often. The author hints at a relationship but doesn't take the plunge to define it and show it in the present but reveals it through a flashback or vague dialogue.

Another misstep, the bomb blows up and we read a strong account of it from the main character's mailman. And, yes, if one of the important characters in a story dies, be sure that Luke is standing there screaming as Darth Vader offs Obi Wan Kenobi. I mean get the main character on scene.

I hope you look for opportunities to create tension this week. Open your work and ask yourself what is not here. That should help. See you next week with more good stuff.

The doodle this week: "Flower".


Tension is the great integrity. R. Buckminster Fuller

2 comments:

JRo - Jaye Robin Brown said...

I think it's difficult when we work hard to NOT have tension in our real lives to then seek it out with a vengeance in our fiction. Good luck!

MollyMom103 said...

Hey, Jaye, Interesting observation! I wonder if the tension seeking in stories is part of relieving tension in the real world. It does seeme like everything is always a balancing act.