Wednesday, May 18, 2011

She's Crafty: Creating Tension

Yeah, I'm a little tense. My query is out there, waiting in an inbox. Has it been noticed? It is a brutal question I cannot answer. So to distract my mind and let my manuscript grow cold, I thought of a new idea for a book. I confess I don't have a plot. For a plot girl, that's saying a lot.
I just have an idea and a scene full of tension, now I need to find the before and after.

So what are the 5 T's of Tension: The Stakes, The Pace, The Dialogue, The Setting, The Stakes.

My Top 10 Fave Blog Posts on Creating Tension
  1. Supertaunt Tension and Sizzling Stakes @ Kidlit.
  2. Setting Up the Tension @ The Other Side of the Story.
  3. The Scene Conflict Worksheet: Developing Tension in Your Novel @ Adventures in Children's Publishing.
  4. Whoa, That's Tense. Raising the Tension in Your Scenes @ The Other Side of the Story.
  5. On Conflict @ Nathan Bransford.
  6. GMCT: Goal, Motivation, Conflict, Tension @ Adventures in Children's Publishing.
  7. It's Not the Cougar @ Writer Unboxed.
  8. Tips for Writing Effective Dialogue @ The Blood Red Pencil.
  9. Telegraphing (and Other Pace Killers) @ Writer Unboxed.
  10. Setting the Pace @ Nathan Bransford.
  11. Bonus: Writing for Effect @ Flogging the Quill.
  12. Bonus: 7 Things I've Learned So Far, by Stephen Jones @ Guide to Literary Agents.
  13. Bonus: Writing a Hot Plot @ Kidlit.
Do you have any tips for creating tension in a story?


  1. Revealing the story slowly, on a need to know basis for that moment, keeps me engaged. I don't know how well I do at actually writing that way. My critique partners will help me out there.

  2. Great links. I always love Janice Hardy's tips. I don't have any new ones. Good luck getting unstuck. I am sort of too in my new idea.

  3. Congrats on getting your query out there!

  4. Hey! Just wandering about this morning doing some blog reading catching up. THANKS for this! Same for me, new story idea and as it simmers it's great to read on ways help it develop...!