I was watching kids at my daughter’s camp play a game very similar to duck, duck… goose. However, as the person went around the circle they dripped a bit of water on each person until they got to the ‘goose’ at which point they squeezed the sponge and all of the remaining water came out on the person’s head. You can see where this added a whole new level of tension to the traditional game. Not only might the sitting ‘duck’ get tagged and become it, but he/she might also become soaked in the process.
Ever since this episode the idea of tension has been on my mind. This is my first month writing as a Genre-ista and while I am excited to have been invited, I also have a new understanding of that word. What will I write? Will I be able to come up with something to write once a month in addition to my own thrice weekly blog? How will I keep it interesting for myself and my readers?Here is my muse’s answer…. tension!
Bad muse! Not terribly creative since tension is in fact the go-to answer for any writing question. But with a little thought I realized I could spin it. So every month I will ask writers and readers of Romance to help me come up with the tension techniques employed by different sub-genres. What has resonated for you when you have read perfectly tense moments? What are the favorite scenes have you written and what created the tension in them?Tension is a concept we speak about a lot in writing. We know it immediately when we see it, but it isn’t always easy to create without artifice. We can learn from those bad examples too so feel free to include them.
Our starting point this month will be the romantic sub-genre of Romantic Suspense… a perfect place to begin the dialogue. You can start by reading this wonderful article by Nora Roberts: http://www.writingcorner.com/fiction/plot/romanticsuspense.htm In it she discusses how the play of relationship tension and mystery need to intertwine and build off of each other in Romantic Suspense..Ask yourselves, in romance, where does the relationship tension come from? He’s available, she’s not… or he wants a superficial relationship while she is desperate for deep intimacy. On the other hand, in suspense, it is the danger builds the tension. Someone wants to kill our main character, or she is being framed for a murder she didn’t commit. What types of techniques illuminate that danger?
In August we have some fantastic guest authors who will be writing their perspectives on Romantic Suspense so check out their blog post each Saturday (along with August 30th and 31st) for ideas. Then feel free to invite them into our dialogue.And finally, look for my questions and tasks in the comments section here and tell me what you think…. I’m dying to know!