Category Archives: Tension

Books I Didn’t Finish, AKA, What Killed it For Me

I like keeping lists. And I like books. So I guess it makes sense that I have a lot of book lists. Books To Read, Books I’ve Finished, Books I Want to Buy, and possibly the most informative one: Books I … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Tension, Uncategorized, What Killed it For Me, Writing Craft | 43 Comments

Conflict vs Tension

I’m in the middle of exploring a new story idea, which means I’m knee-deep in notes, questions, character interviews, and everything else that goes into the planning process. As Jo March liked to say, “Genius is burning,” and I’m terrified … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Tension, Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Building Suspense: Meeting Readers In The Middle

When thriller author Donna Galanti contacted me about guest posting here at The Bookshelf Muse on building suspense, I was all over it! As a writer on the dark side of Middle Grade and Young Adult, suspense is as alluring … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Pacing, Tension | 36 Comments

Swoonworthy Characters, Pre-Apocalyptic Reading, and More

We’re in desperate straits, people. DESPERATE STRAITS. Due to my aversion to being sued for using permission-restricted images, I tried REALLY HARD to find the perfect public domain pics for today’s post. No dice. So I decided to make my … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Conflict, Tension, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

KM Weiland on Reverse Outlining

I am THRILLED to feature writing guru K.M. Weiland on the blog today to discuss Outlining. As a reformed panser, I have seen my writing evolve by embracing outlining techniques. And while I’m not a full outliner yet, it is … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Contests, Guest Post, Pacing, Tension, Writing Resources | 116 Comments

Tension-Filled Books

So, after my last post on tension, Christine Mandiloff asked for suggestions of other books where tension is used well. I had to think about this, but I’ve come up with a few that I think are fitting, for different … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Reading, Tension, Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Frustration: Your Novel’s Best Friend

You’re thinking that title must be a typo, aren’t you? It isn’t, I promise. 🙂 Frustration is awesome. Sure, as writers, we want NOTHING to do with this emotion. Between manuscripts returning from critique partners with their guts ripped out … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Emotion, Tension | 43 Comments

More Tension-Building Tips: Learning From a Pro

I saw the final Harry Potter movie last week. I think I’m in mourning. I’m also still pondering the tension piece of writing, and how important it is. Put those two pieces together, and you (or at least I) get an interesting question: … Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 35 Comments

Conflict vs Tension

I’ve had a writing epiphany that I’m DYING to share with people who won’t stare blankly at me while I talk and smile politely when I’m done. Lucky all of you. One of my critiquers recently said something that made … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 49 Comments