“It’s All About Tension”: Writing and Living Advice

My amazing agent and I are working together to prepare a manuscript to submit to publishers. (It’s a contemporary adult novel that you’ll hear more about next month.) He says to me, “Always remember that tension is the lifeblood of the novel. You cannot resolve the tension too quickly.”

In fact, he says, you want to “layer more and more tension” in this particular scene. We talk about deliberately delaying the resolution of certain problems. We talk about even greater subtexts of tension and conflict that drive the reader on.

It’s all about tension.

It’s always about tension. Essentially, we’re talking about suspense. We’re talking about emotional anxiety. We’re talking about strained relationships. These things will resolve, but they can’t resolve too soon.

All morning, I think about the beauty–and importance of–tension. I remember that God is writing a novel of my life. When things don’t resolve quickly, it’s because there’s a chapter way ahead that makes a stunning plot twist, a gorgeous reconciliation, or a revelation that takes our breath away.

It’s all about tension.

Don’t you hate waiting for things to resolve?

Share the Post:

0 Responses