Suspense: What it is and Ways to Create It

We're looking at tension, conflict, and suspense this week.  You can find tension and conflict here.  Onward to suspense . . . What is Suspense? "Suspense is any unresolved tension in the story that makes the reader want to see what happens next," says James Scott Bell. Raymond Obstfeld agrees:  "On a basic level, suspense … Continue reading Suspense: What it is and Ways to Create It

Core Conflict: What is it?

Conflict is the tool that fills up the vast majority of your story and provides the bumps that are the journey the reader takes from the opening character-with-a-goal to the closing character-who's-achieved-(or not)-her-goal. So . . . What is Conflict? Half a dozen masters put conflict this way:  two dogs, one bone. "The idea of … Continue reading Core Conflict: What is it?

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 foils, mirror characters, reflection characters, symbols, or even clones. And they often drive a subplot (which we may look at in more … Continue reading Clones: Variations on Theme Through Character