Believe it or not; there is a right and wrong way to use tension in your story. Josh, Scott and Chuck sit down to talk about how to properly use tension to push your story to the next level.
Using Tension In Your Story
Believe it or not; there is a right and wrong way to use tension in your story. Josh and Scott sit down to talk about how to properly use tension to push your story to the next level.
Hosts: Josh Hayes, Scott Moon
[00:00] Opening remarks—Dragon Award Nominations are open!
[08:17] Weekly update
Scott: Progress on Reaper #10, wrapping up series plot threads. Went back and dug up a western manuscript involving Tsarist Russian family.
[21:14] Sponsor: TS Hottle’s The Homefront Arc Omnibus: A Compact Universe Collection
[22:04] Main Event: Using Tension In Your Story!
Example: True Detectives
-How to set up your tension points to keep the story going.
-The doorbell trope
-Lost method of answering questions.
-Building tension and delivering
Example: Glotka in Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself (First Law #1) [link]
Example: Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) [link]
Example: Sadeas in Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives [link]
Example: The quarter scene in No Country for Old Men
Example: Milk scene in Inglourious Basterds
Example: George R.R. Martin’s numerous deaths in A Song of Ice and Fire series [link]
Example: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road [link]
-Segue into the grimdark genre
Example: Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses [link]
Counter-Example: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series [link]
-Sets up tension, but does not pay off (ex. North Central Positronics)
-Stakes for your character are important (Chekhov’s Gun)
Example: Richard Fox and Josh Haye’s Terra Nova [link]
Counter-example: Hale vs. Carson tension (lack of payoff in a follow-up work)
-Falsely manufactured tension (ex. A character that knows something but doesn’t tell the main character and thus the reader doesn’t know)
-Character secrets vs. reader secrets
-The reader knowing more than the character is great tension
Example: GRRM’s use of bias of knowledge and events in ASOIAF
Example: M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense
-Tension in a battle scene can be a problem if it’s continuous or repetitive.
-Scene tension vs. story tension
[56:14] Closing remarks
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