How to Create Dramatic Tension

Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld

Tension is what keeps a scene from falling flat, and it’s necessary in every scene. To create it, you must:

•  Thwart your protagonist’s goals—delay satisfaction.
•  Include unexpected changes without immediate explanation.
•  Shift power back and forth.
•  Pull the rug out—throw in a piece of plot information that changes or alters your protagonist in some way.
•  Create a tense atmosphere through setting and senses.

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