Tag Archives: stakes

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

Clones: How the Masters Use Them

Some stories seem to lend themselves to lots of clones, others not so much.  These are the clones examples I’ve noticed in the books I’ve read lately. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Story Master Wednesday, theme

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


Filed under Character, Monday Tool Day, theme

Stakes: Show us what you’ve got!

When doing concept a couple weeks ago, I popped off a few examples to show each master’s way of writing concept.  When illustrating Mr. Iglesias’ approach, I wrote this: Continue reading

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Filed under Concept, Own Work Friday, Stakes

Stakes: How James Patterson does it

A couple weeks ago we looked at how master novelists write one-line synopses.  One of them really emphasized stakes, so I picked that one to read with an eye for developing, heightening, and deepening stakes.

Ladies and Gents, I give you: Continue reading

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Filed under Concept, Stakes, Story Master Wednesday

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