Tension & why it's a good thing!

 

                                    TENSION

For writing to come alive some unexpected force needs to come along to resist or break the flow, to disturb the pattern, to introduce THEMATIC TENSION. Perfect people, happiness, holidays create disbelief in a reader or a watcher. What about the cousin with OCD, the neighbor who always kisses with his mouth open, fights at holidays. At the same time, if all is tragic, sordid and awful, there might be pity but little interest.

 Energy springs from the tension of opposing forces pulling against one another, which may be resolved at the end but also may be left in a strange balance. Writing that leaves us thinking long after it’s done contains conflict, struggle and contradiction.

 Imagine/remember an exceptionally happy time you spent with friends/family in a specific setting.  Make a list of those moments/images/little snatches of conversations…

Once you have captured all the positive aspects of the experience, list the negative. What little things went wrong or felt off?

Try to recall a moment when the whole experience almost crashed or actually did crash.

Why did it? Why didn’t it? Draft a scene around that moment. Just go right into the scene, don’t spend much time explaining things.

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