October 20 – 23, 2022

Pasadena, CA

The Art of Opposing Forces: Writing with Tension

Happy, nice people living easy lives make for boring stories. To keep a story taut, and to hold readers’ attention, you must learn to write with tension. Tension in novels, stories, and even memoirs is like the connective tissue that allows muscles to attach to bones, and thus flex their might. It’s the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It requires opposing forces—characters and circumstances moving in opposition to each other in a variety of ways, at the scene level, and at the plot level. Learn to understand essential kinds of opposing forces to write page-turning stories.