Archive for August, 2011

We all know there’s no question that tension helps a scene, but what amazes me as a writer is how easily the potential for it can be overlooked.

Recently, I was writing a scene in my WIP and found my characters being, well, a little too chummy. They were meeting for coffee. They were laughing. They were getting along so damn well. It was delightful! It was precious! It was…

…dull as a fast-food knife.

Now don’t get me wrong: I want them to be chummy and ultimately I need them to be chummy, but what’s the rush? The scene was reading ho-hum.

Until I added tension.

Suddenly Susan and her father weren’t so glad to see each other on this bright and cozy morning. Suddenly Susan was cross because her father had offered something precious of Susan’s late mother to a stranger.


What had begun as a cheery, mushy–and daresay, throwaway–scene suddenly turned into a thrusting-head-long rocket into the plot.


And it didn’t stop there. More tension followed. More things that Susan and her father (and several other characters, of course) were losing, or wanting, or both.

Tension, I adore you.

You make writing and reading a heck of a lot more fun.

So what about you all? What’s rubbing your characters the wrong way lately?

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After a few weeks of burying the mighty squeee, I’m so excited to spill the beans that I will be joining the 2012 Class of The Debutante Ball.

I started following the Ball a few years ago and always enjoyed reading the experiences of first-time authors in the year of their debut releases. Now I have the honor (and fun!) of getting to be a part of this year’s debuts, and I very much hope you’ll come over and visit me and the other four authors, as we navigate the waters of this wild sea for the next year.

Our tenure doesn’t start officially until the end of August, but in the meantime, please come by and meet everyone, and you can also get to know the wonderful group who are so kindly handing over the reins after setting the pearly bar so high, as well as the incredibly supportive community of readers and writers who help make the blog such a fun place to hang out.



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