Tension is the sense that something is about to happen, whether that be good or bad. We often think bad or negative when we think about tension. But we don’t have to. We can use tension in our fiction to build joy between friends solidifying or even mending a friendship. Using tension, we can keep our readers in our stories, wondering what happens next.
Thinking about the central idea or theme in our work will help us push our stories further and make our metaphors and imagery ring truer. Themes also help the pieces of our story connect. Knowing the themes and thematic statement dominant in our story will help us make decisions about what is going to strengthen our stories and what is going to weaken our stories.
When talking about tension, anticipation comes up. Many writers don’t know the difference, but it’s an important distinction to make like all writing techniques and skills.
I wanted to offer writers another way to grow and learn. That’s when it hit me! I have TONS of workshops in my library that I created for my writing group that I can bring over here and share with writers. These workshops can be done solo, with a partner, or in a group. Every Friday, there’ll be a new workshop on a new topic. First up, writing endings.
While themes and thematic statements crop up throughout our stories, we can consciously weave them into our work to drive the desired effects in our readers. Once we make the choice of what themes and what thematic statement we want to write with, we can start layering them into our works, enhancing both our stories and our themes.
Like thematic statements, themes aren’t necessary, though readers may find themes in your work you did not intend. To help steer your story in the right direction in the reader’s mind, elect specific themes you want to explore in your story. Now, a theme can be any idea like love, dating, alcoholism, fighting, capitalism, or stoicism. The list goes on and on.
The easest way to find your story’s thematic statement is by considering what you want to do with your story. Think beyond writing a good story. What are you actually setting out to say or do with your story to make it good?
Multiple thematic statements will cause a lot of confusion both for you as a writer and for readers trying to understand the story they are experiencing. Stick to one powerful thematic statement, deepened and developed by connected themes that show your thematic statement at different levels and aspects.
Using descriptive writing to show the characters’ movements through the story, setting, and the world, we’re giving our readers an added layer of description to cling to and experience the story. Descriptive action has ripples you can use to show other aspects of your story’s world.
Learn everything there is to know about the basics of scene work in Scene Crafting 101. The scene crafting course is for writers who want to further their knowledge of scenes by actively studying and working on them in a self-paced online setting.