Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rewriting for Tension

As writers, our first paragraphs hook the reader. Or not.
Your readers want TENSION starting on page one, so rethink your first paragraphs and theme.

We don't have time to waffle, so we must get to the central tension. It will show in our Elevator Pitches, Query and Synopsis.

Is there a threat to your MC? Does she face a gigantic obstacle right away?

The central tension should include Emotional Stakes. Add all the IMs you can think of, then trim them to fit your plot. Your readers need to feel what your MC feels and be right there with them emotionally. Maybe a rival shows up, or she loses a lot of money dedicated to saving her brother. Whatever you chose, be sure the tension is there.

Escalate the Tension:  Pile on more obstacles to keep your MC from his/her goals.

Show, Don't Tell: keep it moving and show Bertie flirting with Chantal.

No Info Dump or Backstory: withhold a few facts until the last moment. Hold the backstory or dole it out in little pieces.

The clock is ticking...

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