Tension can sell a book to a reader.
Tension in the cover art.
Tension in the blurb or back cover copy.
Tension on the first page.
Tension in the first chapter.
Tension keeps a reader fipping pages and jumping to the next chapter.
Tension that carries you all the way to the end of the story.
This tension can be in many forms
Correct me if I'm wrong but most fiction contains mounting tension.
So try a couple of these techniques:
1. The ticking time bomb- We think of the obvious time bombs when we think of this topic (like bombs, work deadlines, the wedding 'I Do's, etc), but there are many time bombs to consider.
Or the reverse time bomb. If they can make it through this hard part there is an end.... In war stories you know that if they can make it through this battle alive, then we get a breather. If they can make it through the war alive, we cry for joy. Can they survive to the end? Survivor the TV show is an example.
2. Relationship tension- romantic tension is the first thing most people think of when they hear this topic, but there are many types of relationships. Thelma and Louise. Potter and Snape. The Baudalaire Orphans and Olaf.
One of the tips when writing relationship tension is to create characters with traits that are opposite of each other. And while you are at it, throw in opposite goals or have them fight for the same goal. Create some real problems between the people and make it hard for them to reconcile.
3. Dialogue tension- this is a way to SHOW tension where the others were forms of tension.
You can show rapid fire (discordant) dialogue. Naturally when we see people talking like this we think that something is wrong. It is a sneaky way to create an emotional response in the reader.
You can give the reader information that one person in the conversation is ignorant of. We then worry about that person while we read their discourse.
This is list is NOT in any way exhaustive,
but hopefully a jumping off place to look at
the tension in your writing.
Will we make it to the end of NaNoWriMo?
TWO MORE DAYS!!
Go! Go! Go!