7 Ways to Increase Tension in Your Writing (Part Two)

I read a review recently that said, “I couldn’t finish this novel.” Ouch. It was obvious from the rest of reviewer’s comments she set the book aside because the storyline had become boring. All the author’s hard work, writing, rewriting, finding a publisher, marketing and now this worst nightmare.
Here are more things to consider to keep this from happening to you.
Make the story personal.
What do I mean by this? If it’s a murder mystery, make the victim someone the detective cares about, mother, father, or even more poignant, his child. Then have the murderer go after the hero. Put the heroine in danger.
Whatever you write, don’t be afraid to bring out the reader’s emotions. Touch on subjects that tear at the heart, child abduction, child abuse, sexual addiction, the evils that make the headlines. Later, millions tune in to watch the trials of those convicted of these horrendous deeds.  
In a romance or women’s fiction, don’t forget every day struggles: father/daughter relationships, mother/daughter relationships, marital problems, rebellious teens, single parenting, cancer, death of loved a one. Your readers, or their friends and relatives, are struggling with these issues. Yes, it’s hard to write about those topics, but you can bring compassion, understanding, and the grace of God into a situation where it looks like only darkness lives.
In every scene ask yourself—What is my main character’s core emotion? Is it strong enough? Can I raise it?

4 thoughts on “7 Ways to Increase Tension in Your Writing (Part Two)

  1. Janet K Brown

    I try to live thru it with my character. Some stories we hear about & it bothers us more. Others we dismiss without a thought. You’re right, the difference is we think of the people involved in a personal light, maybe sometime they’ve been kind to us, or we heard of something they went through in an admirable manner.


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