An arc is essentially, the journey from the opening of a story to the resolution of a conflict, via the peak of the crisis, and in its most basic form it looks something like this:
Your characters may bite their nails with worry, but if your reader shrugs and puts the book down, the story will stand still. Well-developed characters have a higher emotional resonance. A cast of well-developed characters will have your readers attached in no time.
Image via Unsplash 2. Heighten the stakes Stakes are what the protagonist struggles against, what they stand to lose if the antagonist is successful.
There are hundreds of ways to incorporate this technique in your story, from an actual clock to an approaching army, or the upcoming school dance.
Introduce change and uncertainty Any sort of change, inner or outer, from the past or the present, can throw your protagonist off-balance.
Does your character fear a past mistake coming to light? A friend betraying them? The death of a loved one?
The greater the protagonist fears the cause or result of the change, the greater the tension. When a character is threatened by a change, she often reacts badly or with desperation, creating more tension in turn.
The uncertainty of how characters will react creates tension as the reader desires to know what happens. While not as dramatic as a twist, the slow anticipation as the reader tries to guess what will be revealed is an equally important type of tension.
Include tension in your sub-plots Remember to add tension to your sub-plotsas well are your main plot. Tension from multiple sources is powerful, giving the feeling that everything is closing in on the protagonist.
Ticking clocks and big changes are the name of the game when creating tension. Create character conflict Conflict is a great source of tension. Consider revealing some backstory and character traits a little later in the story; keep the reader wondering and guessing who they really are.
Markus Zusak does this in I am The Messenger, leaving the reader to guess at the mastermind behind the strange missions the protagonist receives. Conflict always occurs between antagonist and protagonist, but can happen between any characters: One of the key moments for relationship conflict is during conversation.
A simple, predictable choice becomes uncertain. Tension is strongest when it arises both from forces outside of the character and those within. Characters are forced to re-examine their goals against their limitations. Defence mechanisms are a range of studied psychological reactions humans resort to when feeling threatened, powerless or confused.
Sometimes these defences can even make the situation worse, and result in relationship conflict or rash action.
Tension can be created both within or between characters. Takmeomeo via Pixabay 4. Pacing is manipulated through the length of words, sentences and paragraphs. Fast pacing is urgent, short, sharp and to the point. The moment is now. The best pacing for a scene may be clear, or you may need to experiment writing it a few different ways.
When it comes to pacing, the potential for page-turning tension is literally at your fingertips. Image via Startup Stock Photos 5. Naturally, this tension will come to points where it peaks and where it relaxes. You need speed in the opening, middle, and climax of your story.Mar 27, · Coming soon: Writing Conflict, Secrets of Writing a Page-Turner, and the Writing Kid Lit mini-conference Writing Conflict: Fight scenes, Dialogue scenes & Love scenes.
Barbara has worked with both established and emerging authors of literary fiction, nonfiction, and young adult books.
Her authors have been the recipients of.
Suspense quickens the pace of your narrative, adds thrilling elements of mystery and unpredictability, and makes the difference between a potboiler and a pulse-quickening page turner.
Page-Turner shows how to create the kind of novel that brings offers from publishers and praise from readers. For emerging writers who want to break in, and published authors who want to produce a breakout book, Page-Turner is an indispensable guide.
Lunchtime Lesson: Writing the Page Turner - Fri Mar 21st Whether you’re writing for adults or kids, whether it’s science fiction, mystery, or realistic slice-of-life, give your readers what they crave: a character they can embrace, with a specific and crucial goal, in a world they can picture.
Writing the Building Blocks of a Page-Turner. December 22, theryanlanz 20 Comments. Authors blog blogging fiction literature publishing Writers Writing in writing a good scene, the old advice of “get in late and exit early” applies to the end of a chapter or scene.
Answer the “question” or resolve the conflict in the next.
|Shopping Cart||Then you can build an outline based on any form you desire, be it classical drama, farce or anything in between.|
I wanted to know what made him start writing thrillers. I’ve always thought of writing fiction. He asked if I wrote a page-turner.
The answer’s no. I tried. when you sign up for Medium.