By: Nate Philbrick
So you’re writing a scene in your novel and you really want this moment to get your reader’s heart hammering. Here are eight practical strategies to help you can achieve that.
Raise the stakes for that particular scene
The higher and more immediate the stakes are, the more tension readers feel. Put your characters in situations where they have to make a hard decision or perform a hard action right away, and make it clear that if they fail, something disastrous will happen as a consequence.
Focus on action and dialogue
Action and dialogue are the two main vehicles of tension. Minimize description, thought-processes, exposition, etc. as much as possible.
Shorten your sentences
Short sentences convey tension more than long ones because they quicken the pace of the scene. Long sentences force the reader to slow down, so cut, cut, cut.
Eliminate subject nouns and pronouns
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