The #1 Way to Build Tension & Writing Boot Camp Link

What’s the #1 way to build tension in a scene? Writers often move too quickly. Build tension in your written scene by slowing down the action. Let the scene unfold moment by moment.¬† In real time the scene may have happened quickly–perhaps in seconds. But in a written scene, we need to linger on the details. Give some hint as to what the character is thinking as it happens. Put everything into slow motion and describe the sun glinting off the water. The grit of sand on skin. Whatever the details of your story may be, let them unfold slowly. Allow your reader to feel the importance of the moment. P.S. As promised, here is the link to the Creative Writing Boot Camp in Brainerd, MN, on January 12, 2013. My sister Candace Simar and I will co-teach this...

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The Biggest Mistake Writers Make in Openings

What’s the biggest mistake I find writers make in their opening paragraphs? They¬†begin in the wrong place. Too long of an on-ramp. Throat clearing. There are lots of names for it, but it all boils down to this—find an interesting sentence to begin your work! Draw the reader in immediately. Don’t bore them before they get started. I’m not saying you don’t have to write that long on-ramp, I’m just saying it doesn’t have a place in your edited work. Read the story aloud and zero in on where it gets interesting. That’s your beginning. I have lots of other tips on how to write an effective beginning. I’ll be talking about this subject at the Pine City Public Library on Saturday, November 3rd from 10 a.m. – 1...

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