Category Archives: Plot

Tension, Conflict, Suspense: In our own stories

It’s Tension, Conflict, Suspense week.  Let’s see what kind of macrotension questions and conflicts we can come up with for the one-liners we’ve got going. Continue reading


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Filed under Own Work Friday, Plot

Tension, Conflict, Suspense: How Harlan Coben does it

It’s Tension, Conflict, Suspense week, and today we’re looking at how Harlan Coben milks the tension, conflict, and suspense in No Second Chance.  I guarantee that I did not pick up on all of his uses and manipulations, but here’s what I did spot: Continue reading

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Filed under Plot, Story Master Wednesday

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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Filed under literary devices, Monday Tool Day, Plot

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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Filed under Monday Tool Day, Plot

Stakes: So what? Who cares?

The masters agree: stories most often fail because the stakes aren’t high enough.  But there is plenty we can do to ensure lack of stakes doesn’t happen to our stories. Continue reading

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Filed under Concept, Monday Tool Day, Plot, Stakes