raising the tension without ruining your story: a primer

Okay, I know what this is like. You’ve got a great character. You’ve got a stellar story concept, and your conflict is tight. You know everything is going to work out eventually, and the good guys are going to win.

But you want to raise the stakes a little bit.

You want your character to get in a bit of a pickle, perhaps have a setback or two on their way to ultimate victory–and you want the tension to skyrocket. I get it. These are all good intentions. And, if you play your cards right, they’re the key to happy readers and a well-received story. No one wants to watch Frodo trot into Mordor and drop the ring in a volcano with a smile on his face, right? We want to see him suffer.

Continue Reading