Category Archives: Monday Tool Day

28 Ways to Create Suspense

Or…  Tension, Conflict, Suspense Part 2.  (Find Part 1 here.)

“Suspense is achieved by arousing the reader’s curiosity and keeping it aroused as long as possible,” says Sol Stein. Here are some techniques to do just that. Continue reading

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Tension, Conflict, Suspense

There are some distinctions among these terms, but there’s also a lot of overlap. In general, the goal is tension, with conflict and suspense each being a way to create tension. Here we go… Continue reading

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Defining Setting: Part 2

We’re looking at Setting this week. The tool post ran long so I broke it up into two.  The first part was posted yesterday.  You can find it here.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY:  THE MULTI-TASKING THAT SETTING CAN DO Continue reading

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Defining Setting: Part 1

We’re looking at Setting this week, also known as place, location, world, milieu and mise-en-scène.  The masters have a lot to say again, but this time I’m going to break up the post into two.  You can find the next part here.  Anyway, let’s get to it. Continue reading

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Antagonists: How to create a great one.

The masters use many names for antagonists, including nemesis, opponent and villain.  Here’s what they have to say… Continue reading

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Character: Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms

This week’s tool pulls together what we’ve learned from other tools (concept and theme) and teases out how those tools apply to, and build, a character.  Julie Gray calls it Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms, and I think that’s catchy, if not entirely illuminative, so there you have it. Continue reading

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Backstory: What Is It?

Now that our characters have irreconcilable conflict, it’s time to support how they got that way with backstory. Continue reading

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The Irreconcilable Self: Creating character paradoxes

This week we’re looking at how to infuse our characters with irreconcilable conflict and make them, as Paula Munier says, “walking contradictions.” Continue reading

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Thematic Metaphors: Symbols, Motifs, and Allegory

Today we are looking at how to show our theme and thematic premise through the use of metaphoric literary devices.  I’ve been waiting for this week.  I think this aspect of the craft is super fun, both to read and to write, and I’m excited to wrap my brain around it.  Let’s get to it… Continue reading

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Clones: Variations on Theme Through Character

One way of showing theme and thematic premise is through comparing and contrasting the main character’s thematic traits with those of supporting characters. Characters who serve this function are often referred to as Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Monday Tool Day, theme