Posts Tagged ‘tension in fiction’

Plotting: A Stubborn Grace

OK, we’re talking plot again. Let’s say you’re telling your story to a group around a campfire. Are they hugging their knees in fear and delight or are they nodding off? Depends on the plot. Are they going to eagerly repeat your story to ten other people? Depends on the plot.

The Dead Cat

I heard a story a couple weeks ago at a party. A woman said she lost her beloved cat this year. Sad, no doubt, but common. Then she gave me the details. The way she lost her cat (how it happened) had me hanging on every word. It had to do with a cherished old tabby, horrid coincidence, shocking neighbors, self-righteous employees at the pound and a last stagger to the food bowl. It was outrageous and funny and suspenseful, and when I’ve retold it, people laugh and gasp.

It had a great plot. But why is that so damnably important? Read More…

Stories and Pacing

Pacing errors can kill your story. Repetitive, low-tension paragraphs and scenes will get you more rejections than any other writing lapse.

Pacing is the speed at which you tell your story. How quickly are you forwarding and deepening the plot? Is it too fast, appearing rushed? Too slow, losing the reader’s interest? Usually the problem is the latter: set-up paragraphs at the start of scenes, pointless scenes flailing at character development or background, too many words, saying things twice, plus repeating yourself! Read More…