Posts Tagged ‘tension’

Stage Time for the Antagonist

Do you have an antagonist in your story? Not every novel embodies an antagonistic force in a person, someone who works directly against your main character. But it’s a useful tool. The opposing character adds energy and tension to a story.

The villain on stage

If this is your fictional choice, why keep the villain off-stage? Even literary novels such as Dan Simmons’s The Terror, use villains to great effect; in Simmons’s case, the pompous Franklin and also the smarmy and horrific leader of the mutiny. They are brought to life by giving them dialogue and interaction with the main characters and in subplots. They have real work to do, and we see them do it. Read More…

The Emotional Scene Goal

I’m always tempted, before throwing a book at a wall, to figure out what went wrong. Often it’s boredom from tepid scenes. Yet some low-action scenes are fascinating. What’s the disconnect here?

It has to do with tension and desire, and how to get them on the page more effectively.

If we’ve conceived our plot carefully, we have a driven protagonist who’ll engage the story problem in escalating and surprising ways. But let’s look at what the character wants right now. Read More…