Sunday, April 3, 2016


The job of any great author is simply to begin with a premise, devise a setting, people it with characters (a protagonist or two, an antagonist or two, and several secondaries to move scenes along), give his characters an agenda, and then repeatedly, through an intricate series of twists and turns, deny them immediate gratification.  Then, voila, through trials and tribulations resulting from these twists, the protagonist emerges, better from the battle in some big way, and then, having sacrificed him/herself for the greater good OR celebrating in triumph, he resurrects some greater hope for happiness.

There is only one thing wrong with the above description:  and that is the word simply.  There is nothing simple about writing a story, for it is nothing short of creating a whole, wide world where just a blank page used to be.

All stories have a basic foundation in common.  They begin with an introduction and a bit of backstory, usually thrusting the reader "in medias res:" into the middle of the action.   We discover as the character moves towards and into the conflict that he/she is flawed--often terribly--but it is up to the artful skill of the writer to connect us to him/her so that it is somehow because of these flaws that these connections happen.  We can forgive and even embrace them because they are relatable.

Next, a decision is made to face and endure the conflict, whether inner or outer, and our plucky protagonist is forced through what is often referenced as "the door of no return," that leads up the slope of rising action towards the climactic moment that will determine the ultimate fate of not only our hero, but possibly, the very world in which he/she resides.

It is what happens along this  journey that keeps us, the reader, deeply engaged as we are urged along by the hand of a skillful writer.  How does the author create this so-called rising action that is so brilliantly fraught with the electrical currents of tension, suspense and uncertainty?  What are the conditions and situations laid forth on the page that will push our protagonist (and subsequently us, the readers) through that door of no return?

No matter what the genre in fiction, the magical ingredients of the twisting-turning plot that holds us captive are:  tension (often romantic), suspense, and uncertainty.  A great writer knows that if he/she truly wants to make his/her characters especially captivating, he/she must deny them their deepest longings and desires...prolong the successful achievement of his/her ultimate goals.

If the author has wielded his/her magic well, the reader, right along with the protagonist, will feel the frustration and enmity towards the antagonist external, and the struggle and vexation against the antagonist internal.  We will often, as I have indicated in class, wish to hurl our  book--the world of the story, itself--against the wall and curse the author for ever hauling us into this convolution of complex contention in the first place.  Of course, shortly thereafter, the deeper connections we have for our protagonist will win, and we will pick up the book once again.  Why?  because the frustrating ingredients of these twisty, turny works of fiction are often quite real: they mirror the struggles and denials we, ourselves face in our own, real worlds.

How is this tension created?  How do authors go about twisting the plot and our gut in suspense and uncertainty?  That is what we, the critical readers in IB/DP part 4 of the course must readily determine.  I have, below, included a link to a Writer's Digest article that offers a description as to how authors tighten tension and raise the stakes, along with another link to three scenarios from a novel which contain some of the tension and suspense indicated that twist the plots and deny our protagonist a ready victory.

1. First, read the article, and identify three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense.

2. Then, choose one of the three scenes, read it, and explain how it sets up romantic tension, suspense and uncertainty.  It may be something as expansive as a sweeping description of setting or an inner monologue, or something as small in detail as diction: the selection of a single word that pushes it right up to the cliff's edge.  Find it and explain.

3. Finally, it's your turn.  Find a sample of text OR share one YOU have created which tightens the tone of tension, raises the stakes, and creates suspense or twists our guts with uncertainty.  I cannot WAIT to read these!

This blog will help get your creative juices flowing in preparation for our Socratic Seminar next week in which we will discuss how writers hold us captive--willingly, delightfully, and frustratingly so--and keep us agonizing along with the protagonist, no matter how flawed, until the bitter (or beautiful) end.

Batten down the hatches, and let us bravely acquiesce through the doors of no, and everywhere!



  1. 1. Important aspects for increasing tension are change, dialogue, and breathers. Without change, there is no tension. If a character is always in the same situation, no matter how wonderful or awful, it loses its unpredictability and the situation becomes complacent, instead of intense. Dialogue is also important because there is nothing tense about paragraphs of description. Sure Star Wars' action scenes are AMAZING, but without the dialogue, where is the character development or even interest in the characters in general? And of course breathers are important. A break from tension will make future tension stronger.
    2. The third passage makes me think of Beauty and the Beast. Of course, I have that on the brain. Mimi isn't necessarily a beauty and Mick isn't a beast in the physical sense. Still, Mimi shows her love (or at the least, affection) for Mick by saying that she isn't afraid of him, because he is good. Despite what Mick has done, Mimi still believes in the goodness of his inner nature, and while Mick vehemently denies it, you can see the statement still affects him deeply, laying ground for future character development and romance.
    3.Pa stirred the hearth embers and added goat dung. The orange light brightened, pushing his huge shadow against the wall.

    “Is it morning?” Marda leaned up on one arm and squinted at the firelight.

    “Just for me,” said their father.

    He looked to where Miri stood, frozen, one foot in a boot, her hands on the laces.

    “No,” was all he said.

    “Pa.” Miri stuffed her other foot in its boot and went to him, laces trailing on the dirt floor. She kept her voice casual, as though the idea had just occurred to her. “I thought that with the accidents and bad weather lately, you could use my help, just until the traders come.”

    Pa did not say no again, but she could see by the concentrated way he pulled on his boots that he meant it. From outside wafted one of the chanting songs the workers sang as they walked to the quarry. I hear a work song say winter is long. The sound came closer, and with it an insistence that it was time join in, hurry, hurry, before the workers passed by, before snow encased the mountain inside winter. The sound made Miri’s heart feel squeezed between two stones. It was a unifying song and one that she was not invited to join.

    Embarrassed to have shown she wanted to go, Miri shrugged and said, “Oh well.” She grabbed the last onion from a barrel, cut off a slice of brown goat cheese, and handed the food to her father as he opened the door.

    “Thank you, my flower. If the traders come today, make me proud.” He kissed the top of her head and was singing with the others before he reached them.

    Her throat burned. She would make him proud.- Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

    1. Great analysis of the passage you chose...and succinct! I am not familiar with the Princess Academy as a reader, but I know Mikensee Funk is really into it from Goodreads. Have you read others in the series?

    2. Yes, I have. Shannon Hale is my favorite author, her fantasy specifically.

  2. After reading the article, I identifies three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspension.
    2. Twists
    3. Change
    Out of the three scenes, I chose Example 1, The Legends of Claddagh. This example sets up romantic tension, suspense, and uncertaintity by the mysterious man named Mick, unexpectedly showing up in Margret's when she gets home and the narrator details Mick in a dark yet infatuated way leaving the narrator to wonder, "Is this man an intruder or a dark lover?" and we just want the narrator to hurry up and explain what is going on. A few lines from the text that wraps these factors up is, "She was helpless. He had her. There would never be any hope of escape.".

    AN example of text that tightens the tone of tension, raises the stakes, and creates suspense or twists our guts with uncertainty is called Girl at the Underpass. I have read this story before but every time I read it I still get the chills.
    Not long ago, but before interstate highways ran around towns and cities, a young man left Greensboro late one night to drive to his old home in Lexington. At that time, just east of Jamestown, the old road dipped through a tunnel under the train tracks. The young man knew the road well, but it was a thick foggy night in early summer and he drove cautiously, especially when he neared the Jamestown underpass. Many wrecks had taken place at that spot. He slowed down on the curve leading to the tunnel and was halfway through it when his eyes almost popped out of his head. Standing on the roadside just beyond the underpass was an indistinct white figure with arms raised in a gesture of distress. The young man quickly slammed on his brakes and came to a stop beside the figure.

    It was a girl, young, beautiful, resplendent in a long white evening dress. Her troubled eyes were glaring straight toward him. Obviously she was in need. He jumped from the car and ran around to where she stood motionless. "Can I help you?"

    "yes." Her voice was low, stranger. I want to go home. I live in High Point."

    He opened the door, and she got in. As they drove off, he said, "I'm glad I came by. I didn't expect to find anyone like you on the road so late at night."

    "I was at a dance." She spoke in a monotone. "My date and I had a quarrel. It was very bad. I made him drop me back there."

    He tried to continue the conversation, but she would say nothing more until they were into High Point. "Turn at the next left," she said. "I live three doors on the right." He parked before a darkened house, got out of the car and went around to open the door for her. There was no one there! He looked into the back seat. No one! He thought she might have rushed up the sidewalk and out of sight.

    Confused and undecided about what to do next, he thought it only reasonable to find out if she had entered the house. He went up the steps and knocked on the door. No one came. He knocked again. There was no sound anywhere. After a third knock, through the side panes a dim light appeared from the pitch-black hallway. Finally the door was opened by a white-haired woman in a night robe.

    "I brought a girl to this house," he explained, "but now I can't find her. Have you seen her? I picked her up out on the highway."


    "At the Jamestown underpass. She told me she had been to a dance and was on her way home."

    "Yes, I know," said the woman wearily. "that was my daughter. She was killed in a wreck at that tunnel five years ago tonight. And every year since, on this very night, she signals a young man like you to pick her up. She is still trying to get home."

    The young man turned from the doorway, speechless. The dim light in the house went out. He drove on to Lexington, but never has he forgotten, nor will he ever forget, the beautiful hitchhiker and how she vanished into the night.

  3. The three main skills that the article talks about that create and build tension are change, twists, and dialogue. I chose to examine example #2, Maggie Flynn. This example set up the romantic tension perfectly because not only does Mick love Mimi, but Mick killed Mimi's brother and now Mick wants to die because he can't live life without Mimi. There is an automatic change in the beginning when Mick pulls out a gun and points it at Mimi. Then there is a twist when you find out that Mick killed her brother and then again when you find out the story he is telling isn't true. Then the constant dialogue and the inner thoughts of both characters completely contradict each other and make the whole situation even more messy. And it ends with a romantically tense statement "He couldn’t live in a world like this—a world where Mimi wasn’t his…"

    An example of tightens the tone of tension, raises the stakes, and creates suspense or twists our guts with uncertainty would be Titanic. I know not very original, but one of the most intense scenes of this movie was when Rose had to rescue Jack from one of the rooms below deck before he drowns.

    CUT TO:


    Thomas Andrews is opening stateroom doors, checking that people are out.


    Anyone in here?

    Rose runs up to him, breathless.


    Mr. Andrews, thank God! Where would the Master at Arms take someone under


    What? You have to get to a boat right away!


    No! I'll do this with or without your help, sir. But without will take



    Take the elevator to the very bottom, go left, down the crewman's passage,
    then make a right.


    Bottom, left, right. I have it.


    Hurry, Rose.

    CUT TO:


    Rose runs up as the last Elecator Operator is closing up his lift to leave.


    Sorry, miss, lifts are closed--

    Without thinking she grabs him and shoves him back into the lift.


    I'm through with being polite, goddamnit!! I may never be polite the rest
    of my life! Now take me down!!

    The operator fumbles to close the gate and start the lift.

    1. CUT TO:

      184 EXT. OCEAN / BOAT 6

      Molly and the two seamen are rowing, and they've made it a hundret feet or
      so. Enough to see that the ship is angled down into the water, with the bow
      rail less than ten feet above the surface.


      Come on girls, join in, it'll keep ya warm. Let's go Ruth. Grab an oar!

      Ruth just stares at the spectacle of the great liner, its rows of lights
      blazing, slanting down into the sullen black mirror of the Atlanic.

      CUT TO:


      Through the wrought iron door of the elevator car Rose can see the decks
      going past. The lift slows. Suddenly ICE WATER is swirling around her legs.
      She SCREAMS in surprise. So does the operator.

      The car has landed in a foot of freezing water, shocking the hell out of
      her. She claws the door open and splashes out, hiking up her floor-length
      skirt so she can move. The lift goes back up, behind her, as she looks


      Left, crew passage.

      She spots it and slogs down the flooded corridor. The place is
      understandably deserted. She is on her own.


      Right, right... right.

      She turns into a cross-corridor, splashing down the hall. A row of doors on
      each side.


      Jack? Jaaacckk??

      CUT TO:


      Jack is hopelessly pulling on the pipe again, straining until he turns red.
      He collapses back on the bench. realizing he's screwed. Then he hears her
      through the door.


      ROSE!! In here!

      187 IN THE HALL Rose hears his voice behind her. She spins and runs back,
      locating the right door, then pushes it open, creating a small wave.

      She splashes over Jack and puts her arms around him.


      Jack, Jack, Jack... I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.

      They are so happy to see each other it's embarrassing.


      That guy Lovejoy put it in my pocket.


      I know, I know.


      See if you can find a key for these. Try those drawers. It's a little brass

      She kisses his face and hugs him again, then starts to go through the desk.


      So... how did you find out I didn't do it?


      I didn't.

      (she looks at him)

      I just realized I already knew.

      They share a look, then she goes back to ransacking the room, searching
      drawers and cupboards. Jack sees movement out the porthole and looks out.

      A LIFEBOAT hits the surface of the water, seen from below.

      CUT TO:


      While the seamen detach the falls, Boat One rocks next to the hull. Lucile
      and Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon sit with ten others in a boat made for four times
      that many.


      I despise small boats. I just know I'm going to be seasick. I always get
      seasick in small boats. Good Heavens, there's a man down there.

      In a lit porthole beneath the surface she sees Jack looking up at her... a
      face in a bubble of light under the water.

      CUT TO:


      Rose stops trashing the room, and stands there, breathing hard.


      There's no key in here.

      They look around at the water, now almost two feet deep. Jack has pulled
      his feet up onto the bench.


  4. The three main skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, dialogue, and revelations. Change must progress throughout the story and become increasingly threatening to the character. Dialogue keeps the audience hooked and helps you get some insight on a characters personality and how they act around others. Revelations can be secrets about a character that almost give you that "a-ha" moment that helps you put the whole character together.

    The example that I read was Example #1
    The Legend of the Claddagh. I loved this example and thought it had great examples of suspense and romantic tension. Towards the beginning Mimi is so worried about Mick wondering if he'll show up, which makes the audience worried too. However the biggest example of tension is when the audience is waiting for Mimi to respond to Micks proposal of marriage. That small space in between his question and her answer seems like forever in the audiences mind. I always tend to root for love in stories like this and I especially did in this case.

    Heres some background knowledge on the scene I chose! The Doctor is in short an Alien (who looks like a human) who can travel through time. Rose is his companion who travels with him and in this episode they have to pull their enemies, the Daleks and the Cybermen, into a parallel universe.
    DOCTOR: The breach is open! Into the Void! Ha!
    (Cybermen all over the world are lifted off their feet and into the air. There is a steady stream of Daleks and Cybermen all being sucked through the one broken window into the Void.)

    (Rose's lever moves a little.)
    COMPUTER: Offline.
    (The suction starts to decrease. Rose has to let go of the Magnaclamp to grab the lever and pull it, but she and it are being dragged the wrong way.)
    ROSE: I've got to get it upright!
    (Somehow she manages it.)
    COMPUTER: Online and locked.
    (The suction builds up.)
    DOCTOR: Rose, hold on! Hold on!
    (Rose is being pulled horizontally towards the Void. The Doctor cannot reach her as her fingers finally slip from the lever handle. Then Pete pops in, catches her and vanishes with his daughter in his arms. The wind dies down and the Void closes itself like paper down a plughole.)
    COMPUTER: Systems closed.

    [Parallel World]

    (Rose hammers on the wall.)
    ROSE: Take me back! Take me back! Take me back.
    PETE: It's stopped working. He did it. He closed the breach.
    ROSE: No.
    (The Doctor and Rose lean against the walls for a few moments, then he walks away slowly.)

    This scene is really a great one and it's incredible to watch too, so if you'd like you can watch it here!

    1. Thanks for the link! :)
      I am also glad you loved the example. Yes, I love romantic tension, too--sort of in a love/hate way. I want them to win, but don't want the tension to end, either. I get so attached to the characters.

  5. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, twists, and dialogue. Of the three examples, "Maggie Flynn" greatly captures romantic tension, uncertainty, and suspense. It revolves around a man named Mick and a woman who goes by the name Mimi, who appear to share a dark past. As a reader, I have so many questions as to what is really happening in the story as well as who Mick really is. In Mick's thoughts, he confesses that he loves Mimi, but he is ruining her by telling her secrets about her brother before he was murdered. The story then drastically shifts, as Mick gives Mimi a gun for her to kill him with. He helps her to put it to his head, and she cries. The suspense really builds up, and the story just ends. We never know if she kills him. The story did a great job of conveying romantic tension,suspense, and uncertainty.

    A great example of text that tightens the tone of tension, raises the stakes, and creates suspense has to be a novel titled "Stalker from her Past" written by Laraine Anne Barker. I heard of this novel not too long ago, and it was very captivating. It keeps the reader on their toes, ready for the next part. Here is an excerpt:

    The figure moved. A hand tapped gently at the glass. A voice spoke—softly, but loud enough for Matlin to hear.

    “It’s me, Matty—little Matty—sweet Matty. Let me in.” She froze, stifling a gasp that was more like a sob. The voice brought the vile memories flooding in even more effectively than the newspaper article had. How could she have thought she’d forgotten that wheedling tone? And no one else used that diminutive of her name—she wouldn’t allow it.

    And then she saw in his hand the shadow of what might have been a rifle. Her heart turned a double flip; her mouth went dry.

    “Matty, sweetheart—lovely Matty—I know you’re there. I saw you go inside.”

    So he’d been watching—spying on her. But he surely couldn’t see her now, standing in the dimness of the hall doorway: if he could he would have said so. Matlin’s thoughts raced. Hiding wouldn’t help her this time. There was nowhere to hide anyway. She’d have to ring the police. But she couldn’t get to the phone in the kitchen. He’d see her.

    She crept back to the bedroom. At the doorway she dropped on all fours and crawled to the bed. Desperately trying not to fumble, she reached for the telephone on the bedside table. She started dialling 111. Then she realised, with chilling horror, that there was no dial tone. Her eyes sought the jack. The phone was still plugged in.

    The soft tap at the front door was repeated. His voice, still wheedling, came again. This time she couldn’t make out the words.

    There was no choice now. She had to get out. She dropped the telephone on the bed, crawled back to the hall and rose to her feet. Quickly she removed her slippers. Gripping them tightly in one hand, her heart hammering high in her throat, she fled to the back door. She unlocked it with trembling fingers, pulled it open and slipped outside.

    “Matty, darling, I’ll have to break the glass if you don’t open up.” He had raised his voice, sounding like someone trying to reason with an obdurate child.

    Thank goodness for the deadlocks. Even breaking the glass won’t let him in. He’ll need to remove a whole pane.

    Matlin closed the door softly and relocked it. She fled down the few steps and up the short path. Briefly she thought of hiding down in the bush. But, no. He was—had been, rather—an expert hunter. And even if his skills were now rusty they would soon come back. He would certainly be more at home down there than she would. Besides, the ground would be soggy and cold at this time of year.

    Her next thought was to turn to the only neighbours she knew—those from whom she’d bought her house. But they wouldn’t be home yet. No. Her car was the best option.

    1. LOVED your example!! I was on the edge of my seat and worried for her, even though I didn't know her character well except for the excerpt. That is good tension writing!

  6. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are:
    1) Changing something within the novel. “…as the story progresses these changes become increasingly threatening.”
    2) Creating a twist within the story. The author makes the reader assume what is going to happen, and then completely twists everything to surprise the reader and keep them interested.
    3) Having dialogue in the stories. But it isn’t just ordinary dialogue, it is “confrontations, arguments, teasing and misunderstandings”.

    The scene that I chose to read was the first one: The Legend of the Claddagh. This scene sets up romantic tension by mentioning the ring the Irish slave had made for his love. It created romantic tension because it made the reader anticipate a probable proposal. This scene sets up suspense when Mick said “I would love to do that for you.” This creates suspense because Mimi believed that she was home alone and then all of a sudden, a voice appears. Lastly, this scene sets up uncertainty when Mimi was singing and wondering where Mick was. This created uncertainty because it made the reader to also wonder where this other character was.

    The scenes that I chose to show tension is from a book titled Unravel Me; it is the second book in a trilogy. I will post a link of the online book and on the bottom of the page, there are page numbers. The section I want you to do starts on the 51st page and ends on the 53rd page. On the pages themselves, it’ll show the chapters and the chapters start at 68 and ends after chapter 70. The key part I want you to read is the ending of chapter 70 but I feel like you need to read the two chapters to fully captivate the tension within this scene.


    (I believe the link starts you at chapter 68; the chapter starts at the bottom of the page.)

    1. Thank you for the link! I am not familiar with the trilogy, but it sounds very good!

  7. Tension in a story is extremely important as it, is what makes the reader want to read the story. There are many things that need to happen in order for tension to be created in a story, however, there are three big points that must be meet in order to make the tension as useful as possible. The first is knowing when to mess with your characters and flip their world upside down. Change or twists in the plot create tension and keep the reader interested. By knowing when in your writing a change is needed in order to keep the reader involved, you automatically create tension within the story through a change that messes up everything and makes the reader want to continue on.

    The second skill that is needed, is know how to use dialogue between characters to create tension in a way that fits your novel. Through the dialogue, the reader discovers traits or the past of the characters they would not have learned otherwise. Due to this revelation created through dialogue, the reader is again engaged and begins to wonder what that piece of information has to do with the novel. However, dialogue must be applied in short sentences to have any effect on the reader as it creates tension versus slow, lengthy sentences.

    The final piece of the tension puzzle, is to know when to NOT add tension. Some books (like Twilight) have too much tension in them because the character keeps messing up, changing their mind, or is just being too annoying. As a result, the reader stops reading. Because of this, one needs to know when to just let the plot develop without an added issues that arise. This allows the main points of the plot to get more attention and tension versus having many points of tension, but none of them interesting only frustrating to read.

    In sample two, Mick is essentially getting Mimi to commit his suicide for him. As the story goes on, Mimi’s inner thoughts are revealed and her confusion during this time. Each time she speaks, she trembles more, loses more control, and becomes even more enraged increasing the tension even more. Most of all, she begins to question everything she knows more with every word that Mick tells her. This continually rises the tension as you wonder if Mimi will act out of grief because of this or turn away from her desire for revenge. In the end the word that creates the most tension is “Silence.” This word is very scary as Mick basically set up the whole crime scene and escape route for Mimi and let her make the decision on whether or not to kill him. He tells her to do and then there is “Silence.” At this point the reader no longer knows what is going on in Mimi’s head, what is she thinking, is she going to shoot him, what’s going to happen? The only thing revealed is Mick’s desire to have her end it all for him. With all of this the reader, has no idea what to think, or what to do: throw the book or keep reading? In this way, this example used emotional tension to get to the cliff and then “Silence,” to get us to the edge of it.

    One book that I loved and had a ton of tension in it was Divergent. So below I am posting the link for one of the smaller “tension scenes” since I couldn’t find the one I wanted. This scene is when Beatrice finds out she is Divergent (a type of person who her government does not like), however, the scene I love the most due to the tension, is where she chooses her faction. The part I would like you to read is chapter three and goes until the text cuts off.

    1. I am so intrigued that you identified the power of a single word in creating tension. Really made me stop and consider how very important word choice is and how one change can shift the whole tone. Thank you for giving me the link to your text. :) I have not read the series, so this was helpful!

  8. The three key elements of creating tension are:
    1) Change. Creating change for progression of the story and characters.
    2) Dialogue. The content of a conversation can tantalize and reveal new information to both the reader and the characters, which ties into the final point of...
    3) Revelations. New information has to be revealed in order to increase interest and stakes in the story.

    The scene that I chose to examine was the third one, Roeser's Cafe. The tension in this scene is created through the dialogue between Mimi and Mick about the fundamental nature of Mick. Most of the scene consists of dialogue, and action intended to complement specific sections of the dialogue. The actual tension is created when Mick refutes one of Mimi's observations about how the owners of the cafe felt about him, and Mimi ardently refuses to believe that Mick is truly a scary person. The scene continues in a back and forth manner, with each of them defending their point of view with increasing vigor and dredging up past events to further defend themselves. Most of the tension is creating in a slow escalation, which quickly falls off once Mick sends her off in the car.

    The other scene I chose is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. I'll put a link in further below. In this section, the realm of Valinor is placed under a shroud of "unlight" (or darkness for all the regular folk) by Melkor and Ungoliant. It's very detailed and wordy, but the gist of it is that there is tension being created by the threat of this formerly-peaceful land being forever corrupted and changed by these evil presences, which further threatens all of the world's future by extension. It's very masterfully presented, even if it is somewhat reserved in the emotional aspect. The tension builds slowly and works on a more philosophical than readily emotional level. An excellent example of a "slow burn" type of tension.

    1. I love the way you described the tension in the sample you chose. SO well worded! I have not read The Silmarillion. I have only read his Lord of the Rings trilogy (I didn't read The Hobbit). But everything Tolkien writes can tie me in knots with tension. :) Good example.

  9. The three key elements for creating tension in a story are the creation of change, dialogue and information. These create tension through providing intrigue and information.

    The scene I examined was scene 1. I felt a sense of tension through the way Mimi was described. There was romantic tension in the way she almost yearned for him. While she was singing and looking out into the audience she wanted to see him and only him. She was also tense toward him going to "take care" of someone else.

    The passage I have chosen to share is from the beloved John Green novel , "The Fault In Our Stars". One of my favorite forms of tension is romantic. But not in the most common form, rather in an almost unnoticed form. For example, when two people are in love but neither person knows. There is always a strong sense of tension in those kinds of situations and I find it interesting to read about.

    In "The Fault In Our Stars", Augustus and Hazel are constantly referring back to the phrase "Okay? Okay". This causes romantic tension in the sense that they're basically telling each other "always". As in they'll always love each other, they'll always be friends, they'll always remember the other. No matter what happens.

  10. The three key elements for tension are Change, twists, and dialogue.

    "…She wanted desperately for him to take her into his arms and tell her he loved her; that all of this could be forgiven and forgotten. She wanted him to apologize for the past and promise that he would be her future. She wanted him to speak—to say anything—the silence was a wedge and it frightened her. Something was slipping away—the familiar cold and heavy cloak of loneliness was descending down around her once again." Referring to 'him' creates the romantic tension that all love stories have. The need to forgive the other lover is excruciating to the readers.

    An example from text that I have read comes from a book titled "Looking For Alaska" by John Green. Without reading the book, and just looking at the back anticipates the reader to read what is to come. We gather there will be two parts, the first in which a love is started, and an after where "nothing is ever the same". Already it can be concluded that the entire novel will keep readers engaged with what is going on, which personally, is the best kind of 'tension'.

  11. 1. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are:
    1) Change; change equals tension.
    2) Twists; creates a series of peaks that inject tension and hold the reader's interest.
    3) Dialogue; a natural place for conflict to play out.

    2. I believe example #2: Maggie Flynn had the most tension to offer. As a reader, I was uncertain why Mick was pointing a gun at Mimi, because from reading example #1, things were a lot different - something had changed. It is later stated that Mick killed Mimi's brother, James, this was a huge twist in the story. Also, Mick begins to persuade Mimi to kill him. This entire made me very confused, by the way.This scene includes many contradicting thoughts from both characters. This scene was mostly able to create tension in the last paragraph, "He couldn't live in darkness anymore. It was no longer a comfortable friend; it was cold. Suffocating. He couldn't live in a world like this - a world were Mimi wasn't his ..." This makes us, the readers, question what happened? Did Mimi kill Mick?

    3. One of my favorite books has to be Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. For this task, I chose one of my favorite and most romantic quotes from the novel: "Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something." I thought this best represented the romantic tension between the two characters of Eleanor and Park; "Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try."

  12. 1. Three aspects of tension are change, twists, and revelations. Change definitely creates tension because it unsettles the characters and brings the story a different direction, most of the time against the protagonist’s will. Twists affect both the characters of the story and the reader greatly. When things are unexpected, feelings seem to arise more noticeably and naturally, taking a turn in our emotional state. Finally, revelations can surprise the reader as much as twists because some revelations can be considered unexpected twists. We think of the characters in a different way if a secret is revealed about them.
    2. I chose to read the first sample story. It was very captivating and full of suspense and romantic tension. I did not expect Mick to propose to Mimi, so that was a surprising twist. Then again, I didn’t know the context of the story or how deep their relationship was, so if I were reading from the beginning, I might have expected it. I was also surprised when he was in the room all creepily in the dark. One point in the story, specifically, that demonstrates the former instance of suspense and tension is when the narrator states, “Slowly, his eyes firmly fixed on hers, Mick slid off the window seat and down onto his knees. He reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a black velvet box, and Mimi held her breath…” One minute Mick was just telling Mimi a story, and the next he is on his knees proposing. Looking back, I could have seen the signs, but sometimes I don’t understand foreshadowing until after the fact. Two examples of the foreshadowing are when he mentioned the ring in the story and when she had the feeling that everything was about to change. It is better to be surprised sometimes, though.
    3. A text I think is full of tensions and suspense is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I also chose it because it is popular and most people know the context, having read the books or seen the movies. Here is an excerpt:
    A boy, I think from District 9, reaches the pack at the same time I do and for a brief time we grapple for it and then he coughs, splattering my face with blood. I stagger back, repulsed by the warm, sticky spray. Then the boy slips to the ground. That's when I see the knife in his back. Already other tributes have reached the Cornucopia and are spreading out to attack. Yes, the girl from District 2, ten yards away, running toward me, one hand clutching a half-dozen knives. I've seen her throw in training. She never misses. And I'm her next target.
    All the general fear I've been feeling condenses into an immediate fear of this girl, this predator who might kill me in seconds. Adrenaline shoots through me and I sling the pack over one shoulder and run full-speed for the woods. I can hear the blade whistling toward me and reflexively hike the pack up to protect my head. The blade lodges in the pack. Both straps on my shoulders now, I make for the trees. Somehow I know the girl will not pursue me. That she'll be drawn back into the Cornucopia before all the good stuff is gone. A grin crosses my face. Thanks for the knife, I think.

    1. I love your point about foreshadowing. It can only be identified after the fact. It is a great tool. We can get a feeling that perhaps something is coming, but the author, if he/she is good, won't reveal everything. I love in your analysis that you brought in an excerpt of text that clearly shows the tension.

      Great example from The Hunger Games!

  13. 1.
    a) Change- Bringing up a possibility and changing the dynamic so that the character is unaware of what is to come.
    b) Twists- Something unexpected happens.
    c) Revelations- When a character realizes something

    In example #2 there is a huge romantic twist. Mick, obviously invested in some sort of mob was trying to get a woman, maggie to kill him for "revenge" for him killing her brother. Maggie believes at first that her was going to kill her, but then it twist so that he wants her to kill him for revenge, but then twists again, because he want her to kill him, because he can't be with her. There was a thick layer of tension when you don't have context. Each sentence could have changed the entire dynamic of what was to come next. The romance in the tension comes from the idea that he tries to trick her into killing him because he truly is in love with her.

    3. Let's talk about the biggest moment of them all. Romeo and Juliet:
    How oft when men are at the point of death
    Have they been merry, which their keepers call
    A lightning before death! Oh, how may I
    Call this a lightning?—O my love, my wife!
    Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,
    Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
    Thou art not conquered. Beauty’s ensign yet
    Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
    And death’s pale flag is not advancèd there.—
    Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
    O, what more favor can I do to thee,
    Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
    To sunder his that was thine enemy?
    Forgive me, cousin.—Ah, dear Juliet,
    Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
    That unsubstantial death is amorous,
    And that the lean abhorrèd monster keeps
    Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
    For fear of that, I still will stay with thee,
    And never from this palace of dim night
    Depart again. Here, here will I remain
    With worms that are thy chamber maids. Oh, here
    Will I set up my everlasting rest,
    And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
    From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last.
    Arms, take your last embrace. And, lips, O you
    The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
    A dateless bargain to engrossing death.
    (kisses JULIET, takes out the poison)
    Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide.
    Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
    The dashing rocks thy seasick, weary bark.
    Here’s to my love! (drinks the poison) O true apothecary,
    Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

    There is so much IRONIC tension, because we know as the audience that she is not actually dead. This has a twist, as well as revelation. We would expect Juliet to actually wake up when Romeo is at her "deathbed" and say "Just kidding i'm not actually dead yet." She has a revelation when she actually does wake up, and realizes that Romeo died for he could not have her.

    1. LOVE that you chose Shakespeare! A thousand thanks! (Shakespeare)

  14. 1)

    1) Change
    2) Twists
    3) Dialogue


    I chose to examine example #2. I believe this example had a lot of tension involved. The first part of the example starts off where Mick pulls out a gun?! Totally unexpected. this example also shows a lot of tension by the word chose and how things are explained, like when Mimi describes Mick’s smile as “that dark, sinister smile that gave her chills”. The creepy tone set by the dialogue between Mick and Mimi also creates a lot of tension. Also when Mick is trying to make Mimi made enough at him to kill him by saying terrible things about her brother and that he was the one who killed him. By the end of this entry I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know whether Mimi was able to kill Mick or was her love for him to strong.


    * * * A SMALL ANNOUNCEMENT * * *
He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
    In your visions, you see the sloppy edges of paper still stuck to his fingers. You see a shivering blond fringe. Preemptively, you conclude, as I would, that Rudy died that very same day, of hypothermia. He did not. Recollections like those merely remind me that he was not deserving of the fate that met him a little under two years later.On many counts, taking a boy like Rudy was robbery—so much life, so much to live for—yet somehow, I’m certain he would have loved to see the frightening rubble and the swelling of the sky on the night he passed away. He’d have cried and turned and smiled if only he could have seen the book thief on her hands and knees, next to his decimated body. He’d have been glad to witness her kissing his dusty, bomb-hit lips.

    Obviously my favorite book, The book thief. I think this part in particular create a lot of tension (even though the whole book is a lot of tension). Death just throws in randomly that the beloved character rudy will soon have a fatal death and then continues to rip our hearts out telling us how and what his death is going to look like.

    1. I won't tell about Mick and Mimi, but if you would like to be a beta reader for me, you can find out! :) Would love to have you!

      Even reading the Book Thief sample you chose brought me to tears again. No doubt, there were many effective stomach twisting moments in that book. I truly believe that reading and loving The Book Thief can make us better writers. It's just that profound.

  15. 1.)

    2.) The first example has to be my favorite of the three. I felt like I could completely be there with Mimi waiting for Mick. All the events leading up to Mick being in the apartment with Mimi act as the change that makes you want to never put down the book. My favorite part has to be when Mick proposes, I definitely wasn’t expecting that when I first began reading the passage. Mrs. Caraway you do a fabulous job at keeping a reader’s attention!

    3.) The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite tension filled stories. Throughout the poem, it seems that the narrator becomes more and more estranged with the events that are happening. This poem definitely uses change and dialogue to continue the tension up until the very last word of the poem.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Yulissa! Now, if I can only find the time to finish for my September deadline! : 0
      The Raven is an excellent choice. I am so glad you liked it!!

  16. Tension is built through change, twists that come as a surprise, and through dialogue.
    I chose the first example, and the tension in Mimi is evident from the very beginning of the passage. She is only waiting for Mick, nothing else. The big twist, I believe, is when Mick tells the irish legend, and then goes on to propose, as it seemed rather unexpected. The dialogue between Mick and Mimi shows how there is definitely some tension between them, and that Mimi simply melts when hearing his voice.

    My favorite moment of tension in a story has to be the final moments in the novel "A Storm of Swords" between my favorite character Tyrion, and his father Tywin. Tyrion aims a crossbow at his father, who is accusing him of a crime that he did not commit. Tyrion demands to know why his father has always hated him, and his father responds with the fact that Tyrion's mother died birthing him. The conversations shifts to the time Tyrion supposedly unknowingly married a prostitute, and it is revealed that she was not such. In fact, she was a common girl that Tywin did not want his son marrying due to his nobility. Tywin says he sent her away but will not tell where. Tyrion, outraged at this, (and his father repeatedly calling the girl a prostitute, despite it being revealed that it is untrue) shoots his father through the gut with the crossbow, killing him.

  17. 1. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, twists, and dialogue.

    2. I choose to look at example 2. There was definitely change, twists, and dialogue that helped the tension in the story. The gun being pulled out, Mick handing it to her was a twist and a change. The reader isn't expecting either thing to occur. The dialogue between the characters also keep the readers on their toes about what their intentions really are. Mimi even begins to question her own knowledge based on what Mick says to her. He is trying to scare her and in the process creates the tension brought to the reader.

    3. An example of tension I thought of is the tension between Katniss and Peta in the Hunger Games. They are characters with pasts together but don't really know each other. When they enter the arena the people watching expect a love story so they start playing as if they are in love. Eventually they do love each other and to stop them from killing each other they attempt to eat berries they will kill them both. There is change, twist, and dialogue between the characters in the book that creates tension between themselves and for the reader.

  18. The tension is built through change, twist and dialogue. I chose the first example and, even from the very beginning, it mentions that something is different about Mimi which immediately sets the tone and establishes the fact that there will be some tension present in the story. There is a high amount of suspense as well while she is talking to Mick and this keeps the readers wondering how that tension and suspense will shatter and what will happen when it does.
    An example of this I thought of was Annabel and Percy in "The Percy Jackson Series. The two go on quests together and there is constantly some underlying tension which builds up until they get together.

  19. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, twist and dialogue.
    I chose example #3 Roeser's Cafe; from the beginning the story already captured my attention. The imagery made me want to be there, it warm and welcoming. From the beginning it already sets up the romantic tension, their a playful argument between Mimi and Mick that suddenly turns into a suspensive argument that had me at the edge of my seat. The romantic tension was built with details about how they felt around each other "Mimi couldn’t suppress her smile as they walked hand in hand, and she noticed
    Mick was grinning, lost somewhere deep in his own sense of self-satisfaction". Throughout the text it says that Mick stops to look at her eyes and lips multiple times.

    From the text what really caught my attention was this section

    “That’s it then. You have nothing more to say to me?” Mimi whispered sadly.
    She felt his head turn to look at her. She was afraid to look up—afraid of the hurt in his eyes. Where was it coming from? Why didn’t he want to hear these words from her?
    “You’re slayin’ me right now, you know that Mimi?” He growled. She looked
    up at him startled. His eyes held hers a moment, then traveled leisurely up and down her frame with the clear intention of making her uncomfortable. It worked. He gently tugged her arm in, bringing her closer"

    It creates a tone whenever each character speaks, it gives description on how their voice changes depending on the situation and how they are feeling in that specific moment. We can actually see that throughout this entire text. Mimi has a change of character and she is speaking up for herself. The dialogue is intense especially since the description of the scene is detailed and captures the moment perfectly.

    One of my favorite movies is 500 days of Summer. The movie captivates the sad truth of break ups and gives the audience realistic views of love.
    We see the main character Tom, fall in love with Summer. He develops a strong connection with her. She breaks his heart and everything that he use to love about her suddenly he hates. This shows the audience how most break ups actually are. You fall in love, get your heart broke, but you exactly don't hate everything about them. You hate what they did to you. In this scene after he says something he hates about her it flashed back to the scene where he previously mention that loved those elements.

    I f****g hate Summer.

    CU - SUMMER'S SMILE (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate her crooked teeth.

    I hate her 1950s haircut.

    CU - SUMMER'S KNEES (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate her knobby knees.

    CU - SUMMER'S EYES (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate her lopsided, asymmetrical,
    cock-eyed head.

    CU - SUMMER'S NECK (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate that centipede-shaped scar.

    CU - SUMMER'S BREASTS (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate her...stupid...big boobs.

    CU - SUMMER ASLEEP (as before)

    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate the way she sleeps.


    TOM (V.O.)
    I hate the way she laughs.

    1. I like that you pulled specific text for analysis from the sample you chose. I have not seen the movie you referenced, but you have me intrigued!

  20. 1. The three keys to creating suspense are changes, twists, and dialogue.

    2. I chose to read sample two. Right off the bat, romantic tension is created. "She wanted desperately for him to take her into his arms and tell her he loved
    her; that all of this could be forgiven and forgotten." The very first sentence causes so much turmoil within the reader. First, it makes you ask why these two characters can't be lovers. It also creates the question, "What is there to be forgiven?". It is interesting how the use of a single word like "gun" can be such a game changer. The reader is given Mick's violent background which only adds to stress. Obviously, Mimi has done something that has proved unsettling to Mick. What is he going to do to her?

    Mimi and Mick's argument about her brother's true identity creates even more romantic tension as it reveals a previously unknown detail. This is a great example of a twist that creates suspense.

    3. I wrote a short story awhile back about a young boy who befriends a Catholic priest during WW2. The priest, Father Ellis, hides a dark secret. The boy, Franklin, discovers this secret by accident after his friend begins to act consistently strange.

    "I went down to St. Stephens. The sun was gone and the moon was high. The stars scattered across the vast heavens. One star was placed right above the steeple, as if it was an attached decoration. It was a rather tall church. Not very wide. The old stones leaked moss and mold, marking years of age.
    The old gate creaked from the ocean wind. I hoped Father was back. I opened the front door to the Church and was delighted to see a light in his office. The rows of pews took up most the space in the room. The ceiling was high and the only stain glass picture of Mary was covered in darkness. The aisle was narrow. I remembered that my parents were married in this Church.
    I heard loud voices coming from his office. Strange. Sneaking around the door, I peered in. Father and a stranger sat arguing quietly. Their whispering voices were intense.
    “Listen to me, Louis!” The man pointed fiercely at Father.
    “No! No! You listen to me…” My shoe slipped slightly and made a small noise. Father stopped and looked around. I froze, unable to move as I was stiff with fear. I felt my hairs stand up on the back of my neck and I had a sudden desire to be anywhere but there."

    1. I love how you analyzed the passage you chose. I also love that you included one you had written. VERY well done! I had read this story as Mrs. Stro shared it with me, and it was extremely engaging. :)

  21. For the text demonstrating tension, I have chosen a passage from "The Voice of Saruman", from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. At this point, Gandalf, Theoden, and the Riders of Rohan stand at the foot of Orthanc, Saruman's tower, for one final confrontation with him. The power of Saruman's voice is such that those who fell under its spell "remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others spoke they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell". Some portions of the text are skipped, to condense it.

    The passage begins here:
    "'Gandalf I know too well to have much hope that he seeks help or counsel here. But you, Théoden Lord of the Mark of Rohan, are declared by your noble devices, and still more by the fair countenance of the House of Eorl. O worthy son of Thengel the Thrice-renowned! Why have you not come before, and as a friend? ... Despite the injuries that have been done to me, in which the men of Rohan, Alas! have had some part, still I would save you, and deliver you from the ruin that draws nigh inevitably, if you ride upon this road which you have taken. Indeed I alone can aid you now.'
    Théoden opened his mouth as if to speak, but he said nothing... The Riders stirred at first, murmuring with approval of the words of Saruman; and then they too were silent, as men spell-bound. It seemed to them that Gandalf had never spoken so fair and fittingly to their lord... over their hearts crept a shadow, the fear of a great danger: the end of the Mark in a darkness to which Gandalf was driving them, while Saruman stood beside a door of escape...

    Still Théoden did not answer. Whether he strove with anger or doubt none could say. Éomer spoke.
    'Lord, hear me!' he said. 'Now we feel that peril that were were warned of. Have we ridden forth to victory, only to stand at last amazed by an old liar with honey on his forked tongue? ... But will you parley with this dealer in treachery and murder? Remember Théodred at the Fords, and the grave of Háma at Helm's Deep!'
    'If we speak of poisoned tongues what shall we say of yours, young serpent?' said Saruman... 'But my lord of Rohan, am I to be called a murderer, because valiant men have fallen in battle? ... If I am a murderer on that acccount, then all the House of Eorl is stained with murder; for they have fought many wars, and assailed many who defied them. Yet with some they have afterwards made peace, none the worse for being politic. I say, Théoden King: shall we have peace and friendship, you and I? It is ours to command.'
    'We will have peace,' said Théoden at last thickly and with an effort. Several of the Riders cried out gladly. Théoden held up his hand. 'Yes, we will have peace,' he said, now in a clear voice, 'we will have peace, when you and all your works have perished--and the works of your dark master to whom you would deliver us. You are a liar, Saruman, and a corrupter of men's hearts. You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Cruel and cold!'"

    The passage continues with a similar address made to Gandalf, as the men of Rohan look on in dismay, certain that Gandalf will betray them and join Saruman. In both cases, tension builds as the Rohirrim waver under the influence of Saruman's words, despite having lost so much by his hand. They rode up through the ruins of Isengard filled with certainty of purpose, and were then assailed by doubt. Such a struggle with doubt is a key element of tension in novels, leading the reader to cheer (internally, at the least) when the protagonist finally overcomes it, as Théoden does here.

  22. Three ways that an author can add tension through his or her writing is by one, adding change. This is done by changing he situation that the main characters are in, by adding another character, or causing new events to happen. A second way is through Dialogue, this way allows for arguments and confrontations to occur between the characters. Finally a third way to create tension would be through Revelations. This is something that happens to the reader more than anything. It's points in the book where the reader realizes something about any of the characters, shedding light, or even bringing about a scare as the story reads on.

    I chose the first sample, which I regret because of all the spoilers. This was really well done, especially since he spooked her slightly. The first climax was led up to by Mimi thinking about Mick during her performances, her worrying about him, and thinking he could be just playing tricks. He had dug deep into her head for her to be at that point. Then as he planned to propose, he told a story that got the reader engaged, and also Mimi, into which both her and the reader are surprised by the proposal, even if it was slightly foreshadowed a few sentences earlier.

    When it comes to my favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo, there's a part in the story where Edmond catches up with his ex- wife to be, after he had saved her son, in which she recognized him right off the bat, as did he recognize her.

    "Ah, here is my mother!" exclaimed Albert. And in truth, as Monte Cristo turned round, her saw Mme de Morcerf, pale and motionless, on the threshold of the door. As Monte Cristo turned toward her, she let fall her arm which, for some reason, she had been resting against the gilt doorpost. She had been standing there for some seconds, and had overheard the last words of the conversation. Monte Cristo rose and bowed low to the Countress, who curtsied ceremoniously without saying a word. "Whatever ails you, madam?" said the Count. "Perhaps the heat of this room is too much for you?" "Are you ill, Mother?" exclaimed the Viscount, rushing toward Mercedes. She thanked them both with a smile. "No," said she "It has upset me a little to see for the first time him without whose intervention we should now be in tears and mourning. Monsieur, it is to you that I owe my son's life," she continued, advancing with queenly majesty, "and I bless you for this kindness. I am also grateful to you for giving me the opportunity of thanking you as I have blessed you, that is from the bottom of my heart." "Madame, the Count and yourself reward me to generously for a simple action. To save a man and thereby to spare a father's agony and a mother's feelings is not to do a noble deed, is is but an action of humanity." There words were uttered with the most exquisite softness and politeness. "It is very fortunate for my son, Count, that he has found such a friend," replied Madame de Morcerf, "and I thank God that it is so." And Mercedes raised her beautiful eyes to Heaven with an expression of such infinite gratitude that the Count fancied he saw two tears trembling in them.

  23. I LOVE The Count of Monte Cristo. It is definitely heavy laden with suspense and tension!! He is a favorite character of mine.

    Sorry about the spoilers, but trust me, nothing is secured in that moment. There are still several hundred pages left! :)

  24. Love the work of Tolkien. His whole series tied my stomach into knots. :)
    I love your analysis of the passage I offered. Thank you! :)

  25. 1. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening suspension and tension are dialogue, twists, and revelations.
    2. I chose to read example #2, Maggie Flynn. Immediately, the romantic tension is set up in this example, as the opening sentences tell the reader how Mimi desperately wishes for Mick to kiss her and tell her he loves her, but instead a heavy silence clings in the air. Suspense is created when Mick pulls out a gun and points it at Mimi, and a twist is taken in the plot and dialogue when he offers it to her to kill him instead, as he cannot live a life where he cannot love her. But, before Mick reveals to Mimi that he wants the gun used to kill him, there is uncertainty as to who will be shot with it.
    3. I have read many books that have kept me on the edge of my seat with their suspenseful moments, but the book that comes to mind for me that I have read several times is Night by Elie Wiesel. I cannot think of the specific chapter, but I recall a suspenseful moment in the book was when the Nazi's are deciding whether Elie and his father should be sent to the gas chambers to be killed, depending on if they look strong or weak. Suspense is created for the reader in the sense that the plot shows the father son bond/relationship grow when they are sent to the concentration camp, creating a suspense for the reader that doesn't want to make you see them get separated.


  26. The three key skills are as follows:
    Change, change allows the story to continuously become intriguing with unexpected events.
    Twist, twist makes the story unpredictable, surprising the reader because the story doesn’t continue as presumed.
    Dialogue, dialogue allows the reader to learn more about the characters through their choice of arguments or opinions.

    The scene I read was, The Legend of the Claddagh as I feel it sets up romantic tension, suspense and uncertainty. A marriage proposal can create an overwhelmingly amount of suspense through waiting to be asked, and the reaction and response of the girl. Mimi grows nervous waiting on Mick and then when he does propose, waiting on her reply makes the audience uncertain due to what seems like this long period of time we wait.

    The scene I chose is “New Moon” by Stephenie Meyer. In this book out of all the twilight series Bella is greatly tempted to cheat on her boyfriend Edward, with a close friend Jacob. He deeply cares for her and throughout the book she continues to make subtle hints at his attractiveness leaving the reader to think that she is going to make a mistake creating a sense of uncertainty and it isn’t until the last second that the author ensures that there is no change like we would assume.
    "Trust me. I'm an easy bleeder. It's not nearly as dire as it looks." Jacob wasn't happy—his full mouth turned down in an uncharacteristic frown—but he didn't want to get me in trouble”... “Then I hid my dirty, bloody clothes in the bottom of my laundry basket, putting on new jeans and a button-up shirt (that I didn't have to pull over my head) as carefully as I could. I managed to do this one-handed and keep both garments blood-free. "Hurry up," Jacob called. "Okay, okay," I shouted back. After making sure I left nothing incriminating behind me, I headed downstairs. "How do I look?" I asked him. "Better," he admitted. "But do I look like I tripped in your garage and hit my head on a hammer?" "Sure, I guess so." "Let's go then." Jacob hurried me out the door, and insisted on driving again. We were halfway to the hospital when I realized he was still shirtless. I frowned guiltily. "We should have grabbed you a jacket." "That would have given us away," he teased. "Besides, it's not cold." "Are you kidding?" I shivered and reached out to turn the heat on. I watched Jacob to see if he was just playing tough so I wouldn't worry, but he looked comfortable enough. He had one arm over the back of my seat, though I was huddled up to keep warm. Jacob really did look older than sixteen—not quite forty, but maybe older than me. Quil didn't have too much on him in the muscle department, for all that Jacob claimed to be a skeleton. The muscles were the long wiry kind, but they were definitely there under the smooth skin. His skin was such a pretty color, it made me jealous. Jacob noticed my scrutiny. "What?" he asked, suddenly self-conscious. "Nothing. I just hadn't realized before. Did you know, you're sort of beautiful?" Once the words slipped out, I worried that he might take my impulsive observation the wrong way. But Jacob just rolled his eyes. "You hit your head pretty hard, didn't you?" "I'm serious." "Well, then, thanks. Sort of."

  27. 1. Three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension are change, twists, and dialogue. When a character is forced to change or does change, it often has a negative side effect on other characters or on themselves. If a characters personality goes sour, it tends to change the protagonist, if it is not the protagonist. Twists and turns create tension in the story by not going the way the characters expect it to or it turns the characters against each other. Lastly, dialogue. Dialogue can make anything full of tension. The tone of the characters or the diction the characters say, can rub the others the wrong way, causing conflict.

    2. I read example #2 and oh my goodness! That, to me was crazy intense! The diction Mick was using said one thing, but his actions... I almost got a mixed signal from him. He wanted to give Mimi the gun that was used to KILL her brother and Mimi did not want it, while he was kissing Mimi and being all mysterious! (I want to know if she pulled the trigger or not!!!!!) The option of killing Mick, the one who loved her with everything, kill him or let him live? That created a lot of tension and confusion.

    3. Romeo and Juliet have a lot of suspense and tension. I cannot recall what act, but throughout the ending of the play, it gets suspenseful to see what Romeo will do when he sees Juliet, then what Juliet will do when she sees Romeo killed himself.

  28. Three key skills in creating a suspenseful feeling are:
    1) Change – this results in the character reacting in a new way, creating tension.
    2) Twists – Adding in something your readers never saw coming. It surprises them.
    3) Dialogue – Including a conversation between two or more characters can set a suspenseful mood; especially if it results in answering questions the reader had.

    As for the second part, I looked at example 2. And first of all, might I say, wow; I really love your writing, Mrs. Caraway! You definitely nailed that romantic tension with the first sentence. I believe the reason it lingered throughout that sample was, because there was an unknown. There was a choice – a choice for Mimi to kill Mick. I couldn’t even take my eyes off of the screen until I was finished reading. It was definitely the chance of death that made it suspenseful.

    Okay, for the third, the sample below is from a book that I’ve been writing. I believe that this part meets the criteria for being suspenseful, because there’s an unknown and the main character is going through some sort of struggle that hasn’t been mentioned.
    “What’s the harm in trying?” I stated aloud, whilst picking up my phone. Through the absent ringing, I whispered, “She could think I’m downright crazy, that’s the harm…”

    A voice I’ve known for many years rang through. “Hello?”

    I smiled meekly. “Hey! Um, how are you?”

    I heard the hesitance in her words. She knew something was amiss about me. “I’m great, what’s wrong?”

    “Heh, nothing. I just thought we could hang out today. My parents are at work, so I’m bored. Do you want to come over?” My sentences bumped into each other quite harshly, as if they were people in Times Square.

    “You’re acting strange, but sure. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” She hung up the phone.

    Geez, I pray my life never depends on me lying.” I sighed and walked back to my room.

    I did my makeup, fumbling a bit, as it seemed new to me. I shopped in my closet, remembering every piece. I threw on a white lace dress with buttons down the front. I brushed through my matted hair and decided that it looked good enough.

    By this time, I realized I hadn’t eaten yet.

    My aching hunger was curbed by my infectious anxiety. I could feel it turn every corner in my body, controlling every nerve, draining the blood from my face – careening my heart. The spell only allowed me a small ration of buttered toast and a glass of ice water that still couldn’t parch the Sahara in my mouth. A sudden, loud reverberation startled my tiny frame.

    I opened the door and Nicole’s green eyes greeted me behind walls of magnified glass.

    “Hi!” She exclaimed as she walked through the door and habitually into my living room.

    I urged my legs to follow. “Thanks for coming.” I threw into the air.

    She sat down on the couch and looked me up and down; her facial expression changing from contentment to worry. “You honestly look terrible.” She finally said, attempting to add a playful character to the utterance.

    I decided to not retain the sea of angst that filled me; to just let it express itself. “I’m going to tell you something, okay? But you have to promise me that you’ll keep an open mind, and that you won’t laugh.” My eyes darkened to the color of fireside trees. “Because everything I’m going to tell you is true, even though it’s going to sound absolutely crazy.” I threw my hands up.

    Nicole grabbed them and placed them back at my sides. “First, calm down. Secondly, just tell me. How bad can it be?”

    I bit down on my lower lip gently – warm blood rushed to the area underneath the skin, tinting it light red momentarily.

    It's not bad, I thought - just impossibly insane.

  29. Three keys to creating tension are change, twists, and dialogue. All change and decisions have a negative affect attached to them. How this change affects the story creates tension. Twists makes the story unpredictable. Not only do you not know what will happen, sometimes you think you know what will happen but it doesn't. This often leaves the reader baffled and he/she has no idea what's coming up next. Finally, dialogue helps create tension because it often shows intentions and creates conflict.
    I read example one. For me, what caused the most tension was the twist of Mick being in her room. Just as the character feels safe, it is ripped away from her. Due to lack of context, I had no idea whether Mick intended to hurt her or something else. It all created this big mountain of tension that had me fascinated by what would happen next.
    This contains spoilers. But the most tension I have ever experienced during a novel was the red wedding during a Storm of Crows. As a summary, a group of people are gathered at what they believe are their allies castle to celebrate a wedding. But throughout the dinner the author brilliantly leaves little hints in dialogue and actions to suggest something isn't right. The curiosity of whats going on constantly builds up until my heart was pounding. Eventually, the host betrays his guests in the biggest plot twist I've ever read. He slaughters all of the guests. Not only does is this a twist that uses dialogue. It also is a change. A change that leaves the reader wondering what could possibly happen next.

  30. 1. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension are change, twists, and dialogue.

    2. The example that I chose to read was example number one. I feel that this had lots of romantic tension between Mick and Margaret. I did not expect Mick to propose to her which was kind of a surprising twist. A proposal can be very overwhelming especially if you are the one waiting for the response of the girl. At one point of the story the most overwhelming part was, "Slowly, his eyes firmly fixed on hers, Mick slid off the window seat and down onto his knees. He reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a black velvet box, and Mimi held her breath… So Richard knelt before her, right there in the rocks and sand of the bay, and he gave her the ring…" This is the moment when you cannot turn back, you have to accept whether the girl says yes or no.

    3. A good example that tightens the tone of tension, raises the stakes, and creates suspense or twists was the book "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyers. This book has lots of romantic tension between Bella, Jacob and Edward. Bella has to make a decision on whether she wants to be with Edward or Jacob which later we find out that she ends up with Edward creating a tension between her and Jacob.

  31. The three key components to creating tension are dialogue, change and twist.
    I choose to examine example number 1 The Legend of Claddagh, shows romance, tension and suspense. There is a mystery man who suddenly appears when Mimi returns to her room. The suspense of finding out who the mystery man was. While reading I had chills and I was eager to continue reading!

    "Scout," said Atticus, "nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don't mean anything—like snot-nose. It's hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody's favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody."
    "You aren't really a nigger-lover, then, are you?"
    "I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes—baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."
    This snip bit from To Kill a Mockingbird creates tension between Scout and society because society says one things and her dad says another.

  32. 1. Out of all the important pieces of tension, I believe that dialogue, twists, and revelations are the most important. Dialogue is my personal favourite to increase tension, but I love the stage of finding out hints about the character.
    2. I chose the second scene with Mimi and Mick, and my first impressions was that it was going to be filled with romantic tension. However, as it progressed it was less and less about love, and more about the scorn of her brother. The dialogue between the two of them was so powerful, you could feel the passion and rage she felt. I could see in my eyes her brother running and being shot, I could see Mick holding up the gun as he pleaded to her to kill him. The amount of tension between them could have made the room explode. The two of them together are like an atomic bomb waiting to go off, and that's why they're so captivating.
    3. The first scene that my mind goes to when I think of tension is one of the final scenes in Neil Gaiman's Stardust (I promise I tried to italicize). In these pivotal moments, the hero Tristran Thorne is running to save his love Ivaine from going into the town and sacrificing herself for him. The music is fast paced, and the tension in it is incredible because you just don't know if he's going to make it to her or if the witch is going to get her first. It's an absolutely wonderful scene and if the blog would let me post a photo I would. The primary tension tool used is the twist right before when we find out Ivaine will die if she goes into the town, but she doesn't know. My heart is just racing thinking about it! I love it so!

  33. The three key key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, twists, and dialogue. I chose to read the first example, The Legend of the Claddagh. There is tension right off the bat, because Mimi Remington is singing, and as she is signing she is searching the room for someone. She wonders where he might be at and if he would return. When she was in her room brushing her hair, out of no where he appeared. This created romantic tension because when they both looked into each others eyes, that moment felt like it lasted a lifetime. One of my favorite books is Looking for Alaska. There is romantic tension because The main character is in love with Alaska who happens to be in a relationship. When Alaska and the protagonist kiss, their relationship begins to get more complicated.

  34. 1) The three keys that involve creating tightening suspension and tension are change, twists, and dialogue.
    2) I chose to read sample #2, Maggie Flynn. The opening sentence has romantic tension "She wanted desperately for him to take her into his arms and tell her he loved
    her; that all of this could be forgiven and forgotten", and immediately draws the reader in, because you want to know what happened and why there needs to be forgiveness. The suspension is built once Mick grabs a gun and wear a devilish like smile. There is change right away from Mimi wanting Mick to love her to her hating him for killing her brother. After Mick has the gun pointed at her, a twist kicks in and he hands her the gun.
    3) A book I read that had a lot of suspension and tension was, Suicide notes from beautiful girls by Lynn Weingarten. It is about a girl named June who knows that there is something about her former best friend's death. She knows that Delia would never committee suicide. The more she looks into Delia's death she discovers more and more that lead her to a conclusion that the police would have never discovered. June finds people that had been a part of Delia's past and finds the slightest clues that lead her to biggest secret of all. Although, the story doesn't end there, it continues to draw the reader in with newer and bigger scares. The twists throughout the book got so dark and out of the box that it was nearly impossible to put down the book.

  35. The three main components to creating tension are twists, revelation, and dialogue.
    I chose to examine the first sample. I chose this one because while reading I felt that it had much suspense and great examples of romantic tension. My first thought was oh my lanta, I did not think he was going to propose, but because I was only examining the relationship as a whole, but only this little text and piece of it, it could have been expected. The narrator says “Slowly, his eyes firmly fixed on hers, Mick slid off the window seat and down onto his knees. He reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a black velvet box, and Mimi held her breath…”, I feel like this is something that really shows suspenseful tension, because he was telling Mimi a story one moment, and then the next he was on his knees, proposing. I was constantly rereading trying to find the little clues that lead up to this, and I think that that is the best part of being the reader, searching to solve the little mysteries.

    The first text that comes to mind when thinking of tension is the last part of the book "The Cellar" by Natasha Preston. I chose this one, because at the end of the story, "Lily" is found, and brought to a hospital where her friends and family get to see her for the first time in many months, it shows much tension because you can see the tension Lily holds within herself, trying to remember who she was before everything happened, and trying to act as if what had happened hasn't changed her life and relationships forever.

  36. 1. The three key skills:
    a) Changing something within the novel
    b) Creating a twist within the story
    c) Having dialogue in the stories

    2. As for the three examples, I chose to do Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiassen. It was cute; I like scene’s where there’s an almost… one sided tension. When an erratic character is paired with a calmer, more even one, it makes me laugh, and it builds more tension for me as the reader. I think about how I would react if I were angry and the person I was talking to was placid: I’d become increasingly more upset! In this particular scene, it makes me want to know WHY SOMEONE THREW THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHER INTO THE OCEAN MAYBE? What kind of situation lead up to that point? What’s going to happen with Perrone and Stranahan? (Are they ever going to get together and talk?) I always assume there’s going to be a romantic element in a story; sometimes there isn’t (which is weird), but I generally assume the first person the protagonist meets that’s linked to their new adventure is going to be their love interest. I always enjoy when it’s not. Is that the case for these two? I think light stalking and hacking into someone’s bank account is a clue that one of them likes the other, and the fact that the other didn’t immediately hang up the phone and call the police to turn them in is a sign the attraction isn’t unrequited.

    3. So I chose a scene from season 7 of Doctor Who. Please don’t watch the show, you would hate it. I think Megan Comstock gave you a bit of a synopsis in her blog post, though, so you’ve got some background knowledge. In the scene I chose, Amy and Rory, two companions of The Doctor, are in the middle of a nasty divorce as well as on an alien planet, on which they are likely to die. In the scene, they’re running out of time, and neither of them have really spoken much prior. They’re basically wasting whatever time they have left fighting- over which one of them loves each other more. It gives a little background on why the two separated, but also shows that they really shouldn’t have separated at all. If you’ve never seen the episode in its entirety, watching this might leave you wondering whether the two of them can come together, put aside their anger, and find a way to save themselves from certain death, or perish in the middle of a heated argument.

    Rory: Amy, basic fact of our relationship is that I love you more than you love me. Which today is good news because it might just save both of our lives.
    Amy: How can you say that?
    Rory: Two thousand years, waiting for you outside a box. Say this isn’t true. And since you know it’s true, give me your arm. Amy! {she slaps him}
    Amy: Don’t you dare say that to me. Don’t you ever dare.
    Rory: Amy, you kicked me out!
    Amy: You want kids, you have always wanted kids. Ever since you were a kid. And I can’t have them!
    Rory: I know.
    Amy: Whatever they did to me at Demon’s Run, I can’t ever give you children. I didn’t kick you out. I gave you up.
    Rory: Baby, I don’t—
    Amy: So don’t you dare talk to me about waiting outside a box because that is nothing, Rory, nothing! Compared to giving you up.
    Rory: Just give me your arm and I’ll put this on—
    Amy: No!
    Rory: Just give me your arm!
    Amy: Don’t touch me!

    Here's a link to the scene:

  37. The three skills involved in creating tension is change, twist, and dialogue. I chose the first example and the tension is shown at the very beginning. It starts off when it mentions that she is searching for Mick. It sets the tone and gives a good insight as to the setting of the story. Spoiler - An example of tension comes from Papertowns between Margo and Quentin. Quentin has liked her ever since he's met her and she can see this and seems to play with him. This is shown through the whole "scavenger" hunt to find her but in the end she ends up not even wanting him there anyways and doesn't like him back.

  38. The three key skills are change, a twist, and dialogue. Without these three major components, well, there's not much of a dramatic touch of a story. In the three examples, I loved Maggie and Mick. There's a lot of sexual tension between the two and it's almost edge of your seat worthy because you wonder who will make the next move and what will make the tension even worse. There's a lot of unsaid, almost choked on words in the second example. To me, it speaks with that, holding back on something you want to say in a rather, inappropriate setting? I suppose...
    The body language of Mick up against Maggie and brushing her hair out of her ear to whisper is very close and is enough to send chills if you're the type of person that enjoys a mysterious type.

    For a text I chose to set up romantic tension, I do have a piece I used for an English assignment that I'm tweaking to fit my current writing style.

    "You know what I remember?"
    My eyes glanced up to see Levi smirking proudly. One hand on the steering wheel, the other loosely gripping the gear shift on my car since he was so used to driving his beloved truck everywhere. I still didn't know why he insisted on driving mine, when his was perfectly capable.
    Uncomfortably, I sat at the far right of my seat, my side against the car and my shoulder bumping the window and I answered, "What?" I sighed.
    "When we first met," He replied with a short nod, his foot on the pedal calming my car down to a stop at a taunting red light. I threw a glare at the crimson beam, making me wait in here longer with Levi. "And I was thinking," He continued. "That I couldn't believe you were a twin!"
    I rolled my eyes, a small of my head accompanying it. "Why? Did you think my brother was Ryan? Is this another joke about my name? I told you that my mom thought it was cute--"
    And then his hand snipped my sentence short when it clasped itself on my knee. I looked down quickly, then back at his smirking face.
    "No, I was going to say that I remember finding out you were a twin and thinking how on Earth am I going to get that girl to talk to me...without her brother bashing my face in of course,"
    "I had a boyfriend then, Levi, it wouldn't have worked and your time would have been wasted," I said, taking my own hand and peeling his calloused skin from my knee.
    That's when his face turned towards me and he took off his sunglasses to pierce my gaze with his. "Uh huh, and now you don't have a boyfriend, so what's stopping you now?"
    I said nothing, choosing to keep my words to myself and the light turned green, the car driving forward again towards my house.
    Silence was the only thing left in our conversation.

    I chose a piece I wrote originally because my emotions do go fully into my writing. Whether it's my romantic feelings, feelings of loss, grief, happiness, or anger, my writing is my outlet, and it took me years to be able to let my writing be read by others. And even still my most emotional pieces I have trouble sharing because they are based off of actual events that happened in my life. Sometimes I use people I wish I could have spoken to, use actual dialogue, and even change it to how I had originally wanted the situation to go had life been so perfect that any situation happened any old way we wanted it.

  39. 1. The three keys that are necessary to create tension are: change, a twist in the story, and dialogue.
    2. I chose the first story, this story created tension in a number of ways. First it starts off questioning the reader, where is he? The narrator is looking for her lover, however the reader isn't aware that this is her lover and could be viewed as a predator or something of the like. This tension is carried on throughout the story, especially when it is brought to the narrators home where Mick comes out of the darkness, frightening Margaret and the reader. The reader is still unaware of their relationship until of course Mick asks Margaret to marry him.
    3. The text that I chose to display tension is from my favorite book, "Power Down",

    "He was a manager at KKB's Perry Nuclear Power Plant outside of Cleveland. He'd written his idea down one month after returning from a fishing trip to the Nunavut, near Frobisher Bay, a brutal stretch of rocky coastline at the edge of the Labrador Sea that suddenly notched southward in a unique rivulet more than a mile wide near a stretch of rocks known as the Lower Savage Islands. White had written it down on a napkin as he sat eating lunch in the cafeteria one bland, forgettable day at work.

    Now it was real.

    White shook his head, took a last drag on the cigarette, and flicked the stub of it into the wind. He walked to the end of the granite walkway that crossed the apex of the dam to the entry door that would take him to the operations center. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. He'd take a last look at turbine performance data before he took the elevator down and then walked to his house in the village below.

    As he reached for the door, a solitary figure stepped from the shadows. White looked up, momentarily startled as the dark figure moved swiftly to his left. A hand thrust out, too quickly for him to react or to even begin to understand that he was being attacked.

    The assailant grabbed him by his left hand. Twisting with trained, precise force, the killer pulled his arm behind his back and snapped it. The sound of White's scream was loud enough to rise momentarily above the noise of the dam. But it was soon muffled by the killer's gloved hand covering his mouth. Pushing him to the edge of the deck, the killer dropped White's broken left arm and moved his gloved hand to his leg. White tried to fight but it was useless. The man lifted him up. With a grunt, he hoisted him to the railing. His right arm slipped off of White's mouth.

    "No!" White screamed. He twisted his head around and tried to get a glimpse of the man. He clawed with his one good arm but only scratched air. His struggles were in vain. In the dull light, he saw a face. Oh, my God, he thought. Recognition came in the same instant he understood he was about to die.
    With a last grunt, the killer brought White to the edge of the deck and forced him over the brink. The ocean pounded violently against the dam, close enough to soak both men with spray. The killer let White fall. Screaming helplessly, the architect of Savage Island dropped into the watery oblivion."

  40. The three key skills I have identified are twists, change, and dialogue.

    The example I chose was from example one, The Legend of the Claddagh. Suspense is first created as Mimi is unlocking the door to her home. She feels a chill go all the way down her spine. The authors use of diction is what really creates this suspension. The author could have used a phrase like "I unlocked the door and I was weirded out", but the use of the phrase "Mimi suddenly felt a chill all the way down her spine" allows the reader to feel and connect to what Mimi is feeling. Romantic tension is created when a manly voice says "I would love to do that for you" , and Mimi finds Mick in her room. Again, the authors use of diction sets up the tension. The author puts in phrases like "His beloved darkness" to give the story a romantic feel.

    The example that I have found is tension in Twilight between Edward and Bella. There is all sorts of tension in this book. Edward is a vampire who falls in love with a Human girl Bella. The first sense of tension we get is in the dramatic scene where Bella first sees Edward Cullen at school, and continues on to when they are lab partners. Tension is created by the looks the two exchange. It is as if you can tell they want each other. When Bella finally finds out that their love is forbidden, even more tension is created. The scene where they share their first kiss, the tension is clearly displayed. In the book, the author uses diction to create this tension, whereas in the movie, body language is used.

  41. The three elements used to create and tighten tension in a story are: change, twists, dialogue and revelations. Change being something happening to the character whether it be a change in circumstances or a change in character. Twists create tension by introducing something unexpected and keeping the reader on their toes. Dialogue could be conflictive and thus creating tension or subtexts or meanings of the dialogue could also create tension. Revelations about characters gives the reader something to create tension out of since no one is going to care about a skeleton character compared to a fleshed out one.

    Example 1:
    Tension is created in this scene by the author telling us Mimi’s emotion and how she felt. Things were out of place and she was worried about Mick. This creates tension for the reader who because of Mimi’s thoughts is now wondering where is Mick and has anything happened to him. The reader starts to think much like Mimi in that sense. You can feel her worry.

    I could not get the text but I can describe it. It is from the Lord of the Rings Chapter 14, The Council of Elrond. Tension is built up through dialogue by the council first discussing the predicament Middle Earth is in regarding the rise of the Dark Lord. His armies are growing and the wizard Saruman had betrayed the good and allied himself with Sauron (The Dark Lord). The situation being described brings tension to the reader making them wonder how will a solution come about to this seemingly impossible problem. Tension is tightened when members of the council start to argue with each other over which path was the best to take. This council is a critical point for the story of Lord of the Rings and a lot of tension comes from it.

  42. From the article provided by Writer’s Digest, we know there are three main techniques good authors use to build tension in their stories. Great authors toy with their readers, raising the stakes and using many methods to keep the reader glued to the page. The art of change, twists, and well-crafted dialogue help paint this suspectful picture. Change, also known as problems, are essential for a good plot. They create drive and institute action from the protagonist. Twists are excellent ways to “spice up” the plot in the story, leading the reader to believe in one possible outcome, but then swiftly revealing another. This will undoubtedly shake up a plot and keep it from becoming stale. Finally, dialogue, which when used properly, can show intense emotion and reveal secrets and feelings without even directly talking about them.

    The sample text I read was Maggie Flynn. When I sat down to do this assignment, I didn’t really feel motivated to do it. However, once I started reading and getting into the text,I quickly found myself wanting more without even realizing it. I guess that's the power of a good author! I want to discuss how Maggie Flynn was so engaging and also how it used the techniques described for greater effect. Right off the bat, we are hit with conflict. “She wanted desperately for him to take her into his arms and tell her he loved her; that all of this could be forgiven and forgotten.”. Here we establish romance and a struggle between two people. Further into the story, not only do the characters deal with their feelings towards each other, but also Mimi must choose whether or not to execute Mick. It is through dialogue that many important secrets are revealed to the reader and the character Mimi in the story. Mick describes the murdering of Mimi’s brother as a way to convince her to kill him, and without many intense flares seen in the text, the empathy towards Mimi wouldn’t have been so driven. Finally, the twist seen in the play doesn’t necessary happen later in the work, but rather in the introduction. You believe that the character Mick is about to kill our protagonist, but actually gives the gun to her instead and gives her a choice. It’s these types of twists that keep the events juicy and offered a huge internal struggle focus on both of the characters.

  43. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are:
    Changing something within the novel. “…as the story progresses these changes become increasingly threatening.”Creating a twist within the story. The author makes the reader assume what is going to happen, and then completely twists everything to surprise the reader and keep them interested. Having dialogue in the stories. But it isn’t just ordinary dialogue, it is “confrontations, arguments, teasing and misunderstandings”.

  44. 1. Three key skills
    Change - Change equals tension
    Twist - Keeps the story engaging, naturally introduces tension to the story
    Dialogue - Natural place where conflict can play out

    2. The sample text I chose was Maggie Flynn. The author introduces the conflict in the first few sentences that Maggie desperately wanted effect from Mick but he obviously is not reciprocating. Which shows the romantic tension between both characters. Then a twist occurs, Mick pulls out a gun having the reader think he's going to kill her but then he gives her the gun as a present. You don't usually give a girl the gun her brother was murdered with but there's always a first. Both character seem to have romantic tension through their actions and words. The words Mick chose to create the romantic tone such as calling her “love” but also a mysterious tone leaving me confused on what he was really trying to do. It was even more confusing and more twists when Mick put the gun to his head and gave her the option to kill him, to avenge her brother but we don’t know if she does or not I want to know the suspense is killing me!

    3. I chose the book Witch & Wizard by James Patterson because this was the first book that I genuinely enjoyed when I was younger. The book was full of suspense it kept me wondering if the brother and sister duo would ever see their parents after being pried from their homes because they had recently discovered they were sorcerers. Also the suspense between the duo and the leader of the regime, who is after their powers. Then the person who turns them in decides they have a change in heart ( and is turned into a weasel) , and wants to help them find their parents and defeat the regime. He even falls in love with the witch, even after turning her into the government, what a twist!

  45. 1. The three key skills:
    a) Changing up a story arc
    b) Creating a twist
    c) Dramatic Dialogue

    2. As for the three examples, I chose to do Maggie Flynn. There is immediate romantic tension between the main character, Mimi and her romantic opposite, Mick, which is established in the very first line of the chapter: ”She wanted desperately for him to take her into his arms and tell her he loved her; that all of this could be forgiven and forgotten.”
    The suspension is further established upon Mick pointing a gun at Mimi and then offering her the weapon only to have her backlash at his offer. The tension in this scene is built off of a severely unstable relationship between two characters who are extremely incompatible with completely differing morals.

    3. The scene I chose to evaluate is actually from my all time favorite TV show of ever: American Horror Story. This particular scene actually occurs towards the ending of the first season. Because of this, tensions are running incredibly high as there are a lot of deep rooted problems being sorted out in a single explosive moment. Without going too far into the story, a very brief synopsis of this scene regards Violet as she confronts her boyfriend about his strange and disturbing past. This is how it all goes down: WARNING MAJOR AHS SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    Tate: I like your dad [Violet’s dad is Tate’s psychiatrist]. He was nice to me.
    Violet: He's nice to all his patients… Even the ones who lie to him.
    Tate: What?
    Violet: Why did you start seeing him in the first place? Constance [Tate’s mother] thought you needed help.
    Tate: I did - I do.
    Violet: You knew you were dead.
    Tate:…Yeah. [Tate is actually a ghost]
    Violet: Do you know why?
    Tate: The cops shot me.
    Violet: Why? Why did they shoot you?
    Tate: … I don’t know... [Clearly lying]
    Violet: You murdered people, Tate. Kids. Like us!
    Tate: Why would I do that? Why would I do that?! Why would I do that?..
    Violet: I don't know. Why'd you kill those guys who lived in this house before me?
    Tate: I’m sorry… I’m sorry! I was different then!
    Violet: I used to think you were like me. That you were attracted to the darkness. But, Tate, you /are/ the darkness.
    Tate: No. Before you, that's all there was! You're the only light I've ever known. You've changed me, Violet! I believe that.
    Violet: I love you, Tate. But I can't forgive you. You have to pay for what you did. All the pain you caused. All the sorrow... I can't be with you. I won't be with you anymore…
    Tate: What are you saying?
    Violet: I’m saying go away.
    Tate:What? - No! Please don't do this.
    Violet: Go away, Tate.
    Tate: You're all I want! You're all I have left!
    Violet: Go away!

  46. The three keys to suspense are change or a twist, dialogue, and revelations.

    In the First sample, romantic suspense is created with the setting. It is night time in an apartment or hotel room, which with all the shadows and darkness instantly creates suspense and gives you the feeling of mystery. The key that turns this romantic is the Lamp. Rather than turning on the lights mimi lights a karosine lamp. This creates those long, yellow shadows that candles firelight create, even furthering the romantic suspense.

    My example of suspense would have to be the first half of chapter 12 of The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien. This chapter describes Bilbo's (The main character) journey into the lair of the mighty dragon Smaug. It creates so much suspense as this is the moment that then entire adventure of the novel has led up too. You can read it here.

  47. 1. Change, twists, dialogue
    2. I read example 2. There was so many twists you had to really pay attention to know what was going on. At first it seemed like he was going to kill her but it ends up with mick trying to get maggie to kill him. Theres a lot of tension also when he pulls out the gun but then hands it to her but she's in love with him but he killed her brother and she's obviously upset about that and he loves her and doesn't want to live because now she knows about his past she probably doesn't want to be with him. The whole thing is suspenseful because you never know whats going to happen. Is he going to kill her is she going to kill him?
    3. I love Edgar Allen Poe and I don't read often so I decided to go with Poes story The Cask of Amontillado. I think theres definitely tension throughout the whole story. In the beginning the narrator is talking bad about fortunate but ends up being friendly, caring about his cough, inviting him to go down and get some wine but it turns out he took him down to kill him. The reader knows something is about to happen but they don't know what and fortunato has no idea. Its definitely a huge plot twist and creates suspense through the whole story.

  48. 1. The three key skills involved in creating and tightening tension and suspense are change, twists, and dialogue.
    2. The example I chose to examen was "The Legend of the Claddagh". Suspense first starts to arise when Mimi unlocks the door to her home and feels a chill go down her spine. Romantic tension is also created when a man's voice is heard saying "I would love to do that for you" , and Mimi finds Mick in her room. The setting, night time and alone in one's apartment, help add a lot to the suspense factor in this scene along with the inner dialogue that keeps questioning the circumstances to help build up the tension.
    3. The excerpt I chose to share was that from Katness and Peeta in the Hunger Games series I love this piece because it does contain some ongoing tension and it just shows a part of the characters timeless love.

    "I’ve just reached the door when his voice stops me. “Katniss. I remember about the bread.”

    The bread. Our one moment of real connection before the Hunger Games.

    “They showed you the tape of me talking about it,” I say.

    “No. Is there a tape of you talking about it? Why didn’t the Capitol use it against me?” he asks.

    “I made it the day you were rescued,” I answer. The pain in my chest wraps around my ribs like a vise. The dancing was a mistake. “So what do you remember?”

    “You. In the rain,” he says softly. “Digging in our rubbish bins. Burning the bread. My mother hitting me. Taking the bread out for the pig but then giving it to you instead.”

    ‘That’s it. That’s what happened,” I say. “The next day, after school, I wanted to thank you. But I didn’t know how.”

    “We were outside at the end of the day. I tried to catch your eye. You looked away. And then… for some reason, I think you picked a dandelion.” I nod. He does remember. I have never spoken about that moment aloud. “I must have loved you a lot.”

  49. 1. change, twists, dialogue

    2. The scene I chose is the third one. The romance is set up with the way the two characters react to each other. The reader is always on edge with the way Mimi physically reacts to Mick, and also because what they have to say is always a shock.

    3. This is from one of my favorite books, Uprooted, by Naomi Novik:

    I shuddered away from my thoughts and stood up. I looked down at the bed, and around at that small close room with nowhere to hide, and then I hurried out and went back down the hall again. There was a staircase at the end, going down in a close spiral, so I couldn’t see what was around the next turn. It sounds stupid to be afraid of going down a staircase, but I was terrified. I nearly went back to my room after all. At last I kept one hand on the smooth stone wall and went down slowly, putting both my feet on one step and stopping to listen before I went down a little more.

    After I’d crept down one whole turn like that, and nothing had jumped out at me, I began to feel like an idiot and started to walk more quickly. But then I went around another turn, and still hadn’t come to a landing; and another, and I started to be afraid again, this time that the stairs were magic and would just keep going forever, and—well. I started to go quicker and quicker, and then I skidded three steps down onto the next landing and ran headlong into the Dragon.

    I was skinny, but my father was the tallest man in the village and I came up to his shoulder, and the Dragon wasn’t a big man. We nearly tumbled down the stairs together. He caught the railing with one hand, quick, and my arm with the other, and somehow managed to keep us from landing on the floor. I found myself leaning heavily on him, clutching at his coat and staring directly into his startled face. For one moment he was too surprised to be thinking, and he looked like an ordinary man startled by something jumping out at him, a little bit silly and a little bit soft, his mouth parted and his eyes wide.

    I was so surprised myself that I didn’t move, just stayed there gawking at him helplessly, and he recovered quick; outrage swept over his face and he heaved me off him onto my feet. Then I realized what I’d just done and blurted in a panic, before he could speak, “I’m looking for the kitchen!”

    “Are you,” he said silkily. His face didn’t look at all soft anymore, hard and furious, and he hadn’t let go of my arm. His grip was clenching, painful; I could feel the heat of it through the sleeve of my shift. He jerked me towards him and bent towards me—I think he would have liked to loom over me, and because he couldn’t was even more angry. If I’d had a moment to think about it, I would have bent back and made myself smaller, but I was too tired and scared. So instead his face was just before mine, so close his breath was on my lips and I felt as much as heard his cold, vicious whisper: “Perhaps I’d better show you there.”

    “I can—I can—” I tried to say, trembling, trying to lean back from him. He spun away from me and dragged me after him down the stairs, around and around and around again, five turns this time before we came to the next landing, and then another three turns down, the light growing dimmer, before at last he dragged me out into the lowest floor of the tower, just a single large bare-walled dungeon chamber of carven stone, with a huge fireplace shaped like a downturned mouth, full of flames leaping hellishly.

    He dragged me towards it, and in a moment of blind terror I realized he meant to throw me in. He was so strong, much stronger than he ought to have been for his size, and he’d pulled me easily stumbling down the stairs after him. But I wasn’t going to let him put me in the fire. I wasn’t a lady-like quiet girl; all my life I’d spent running in the woods, climbing trees and tearing through brambles, and panic gave me real strength. I screamed as he pulled me close to it, and then I went into a fit of struggling and clawing and squirming, so this time I really did trip him to the floor.

    1. I went down with him. We banged our heads on the flagstones together, and dazed lay still for a moment with our limbs entwined. The fire was leaping and crackling beside us, and as my panic faded, abruptly I noticed that in the wall beside it were small iron oven doors, and before it a spit for roasting, and above it a huge wide shelf with cooking-pots on it. It was only the kitchen.

      After a moment, he said, in almost marveling tones, “Are you deranged?”

      “I thought you were going to throw me in the oven,” I said, still dazed, and then I started to laugh.

      It wasn’t real laughter—I was half-hysterical by then, wrung out six ways and hungry, my ankles and knees bruised from being dragged down the stairs and my head aching as though I’d cracked my skull, and I just couldn’t stop.

      But he didn’t know that. All he knew was the stupid village girl he’d picked was laughing at him, the Dragon, the greatest wizard of the kingdom and her lord and master. I don’t think anyone had laughed at him in a hundred years, by then. He pushed himself up, kicking his legs free from mine, and getting to his feet stared down at me, outraged as a cat. I only laughed harder, and then he turned abruptly and left me there laughing on the floor, as though he couldn’t think what else to do with me.

  50. Three ways a writer can show tension in their work is by change, dialogue, and revelations. Changes is when the protagonist is put into a new and unfamiliar situation, which prompts new situations and experiences to arrive. Dialogue as in when there is a power struggle between two other characters, things, or one's self. In this situation one always loses. Finally, revelations is progression through the story in which we learn new traits and things about our protagonist. A good author won't give away all of their character's darkest secrets right in the opening, there is no attachment to the character yet and therefore no emotional response when told those secrets.

    I chose the first sample because the text creates tension right away. Using reactions from other people in the audience and them saying that they're able to feel that something is different in Mimi as she sings. There is change in a way, in her mood and attitude towards what she is doing and it is noticeable. The text even mentions later on that Mimi feels like something is about to change.

    My favorite short story from Edgar Allan Poe is the Tell Tale Heart. He does a great job at creating tension in all of his stories but I enjoy this the most. The use of repetition and struggle with the character's own sanity is used in such a way to create a sort of dark power struggle. The fact that cops are just a couple feet away from him elevates the tense feeling in the room as the narrator loses himself to his own mind.

    "Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder!"
    (Edgar Allan Poe, Tell Tale Heart)

  51. 1. The three ways to create tension and suspense are through change, dialogue, and twist.
    2. I chose Example #3 Roeser's Cafe: “Well, Mick, I think it’s pretty safe to say that you are a favorite customer at Roeser’s bakery.”
    Mick laughed, releasing her hand to take her arm in his. “I guess maybe you could say that with a high degree of safety.”
    “Are you kidding? Ingrid hovering over you like a doting mother, waiting just to witness that precious moment when you took your first sip of coffee and your first bite of
    marmalade smeared brotchen. One smile from you, and that was all they needed.”
    She laughed. “They love you in there, that’s for sure.”
    Mick was quiet a moment, his smile shifting slightly to something else. “That’s not love, Mimi.”
    “No. That’s called respect.”
    “Well,” she pressed, watching his face for any tell-tale change in expression “isn’t that a symptom of love?”
    He smirked. “It’s also a symptom of fear.”
    Mimi slowed her stride a bit so that he was forced to almost stop completely to accommodate her. “Fear? Why on earth would a kindly couple of German bakers be afraid of you?”
    This brought a sardonic laugh. “You really are as naïve as you look, aren’t you? Why would they be afraid of me? Hmm, which of the dozens of reasons do you want me to name? For starters, I work for Charlie Clancy. That’s a whole slew of reasons in and of itself. A better question to ask is why wouldn’t they?” This scene created tension between Mimi and Mick because he opens up to the idea that it's better to be feared, while Mimi disagrees and says she is not scared of him and that she thinks he is a good person. He gets upset over this but he also realizes that she has been studying him and taking interest in him.

    3. Ella Enchanted is a book about a girl that is cursed with obedience, for example if someone tells her to stand on one foot she will do so until she is told to stop. This curse can also be used for even more dangerous reasons. She is constantly fighting against the curse and sets of to break the curse. Towards the end of this book, tension is created when she is forced to choose between not marrying the prince to save him and her step family ordering her to not marry the prince. In the end she refuses to marry and suddenly discover that she is refusing an order thus breaking the curse. When reading this book the reader wants Ella to marry the prince but they also want her to save him, but her refusal is a twist by breaking the curse.

    1. *her family is ordering her to marry the prince.

    2. I LOVE Ella Enchanted. :) Yes, there is a lot of tension.

  52. 1. The three key ways a writer can show tension is by introducing change, dialogue and revelations

    2. She was breathing so fast her head was spinning. His eyes were fixed on her
    mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to swallow the lump that was forming in her throat.
    “You—you talk about fear—how everyone is—so—so afraid of you. What are you
    afraid of, Mick?” Her words came out in raspy, trembling breaths. She felt her will
    sinking as his arms reached forward to brace himself on either side of her against the car.
    God! Those eyes! Those tortured blue eyes and the way they were looking at her right

    In the third example Mick and Mimi are walking through park and Mimi starts causing tension when she starts pressing Mick insisting he's a good man that has just don bad things and this causes Mick to become troubled and uncertain, something that seems to happen rarely. Repeatedly Mimi is struggling to get words out of her mouth when Mick keeps looking at her causing her to quiet if not afraid, but her words strike true to Mick and when they are leaving he stays behind to think about these new developments.

    3. The text I choose to elaborate on is probably going to be during the first book of A Game Of Thrones when the king visits Winterfell to see his old friend and request him to come back to the capital to become is right hand man, His wife afraid of all the conspiracies and plots happening in the city fears for his life and begs him not to go but fails when her husband accepts the offer and puts a spike into one of the plotter's plans for power which then later puts the kingdom into a chain of events that will forever change it.

  53. 1. The three ways to create tension and suspense are through change, dialogue, and twist.
    2. In example one- "She didn’t want to hang around after the second set to visit with any guests, and she certainly didn’t want to run the risk of running into Danny. She didn’t even want to sit and talk with Al about music or new arrangements. She didn’t want to see anyone. All Mimi wanted right now was to go straight to her room, shut the door, and let the darkness hide her from everything" This created tension by representing the current state of mind Mimi felt about Danny. The anxiety Mimi felt was extremely visible with each word.
    3. The text I chose is from the script "Saving Mr. Banks" a movie about the author of Mary Poppins. In this scene, young Mrs. Travers comes home to find her father has passed away. This scene visually is extremely heart breaking but even reading it takes a lot of emotion of you. For some background knowledge in case you haven't seen the movie, her father sent her out to get pears which was why her line about them was a very dramatic moment.

    Ginty stands in the bedroom, a long way from the bed. She
    stands there, it seems, for an eternity. Then, finally, step
    by step she draws closer. The empty bottle on the floor. The
    sheets twisted, still wet with sweat, flecked and spotted
    with blood. The front of her father’s nightdress is also
    bloodstained. Ginty’s eyes reach his face. Travers lies, eyes
    open, mouth open, teeth slightly red-stained, neither
    peaceful nor distressed. Just-- nothing.
    I dropped the pears.
    She perches on the edge of the bed and takes his hand.
    I’m sorry daddy.
    Ellie appears in the doorway, Ginty addresses her without
    turning around.
    You promised you would fix

  54. 1. The three way tension can be shown is dialogue, change, and unpredictability.

    2. I really enjoyed the third text probably the best of the three,it sets up tension because it utilizes my personal favorite kind of tension, romantic tension. Especially when the conversation of Mimi and Mic takes a turn and Mimi speaks up about Mic actually being a good man. That shakes up Mic a bit because no one had ever seen him in that light before. This instance sets up where both Mic and Mimi entertain the idea of harboring a relationship with one another. One word that summarizes this entire is the word "conflicted." because to me it is used to show the entire conversation and how it bats back and forth between Mic and Mimi.

    3. Since this is me, I wanted to give an example of text from my absolute favorite musical in the entire world "Newsies". Where the main character Jack Kelly, who is pegged as the womanizing paper boy who knows New York, tries to hit on the independent journalist Kathrine Plumber. She is watching a play and writing a review on it but she wants to be a real journalist and make it big, but at the moment that really doesn't matter. Anyway, Jack is pompous and tries to pickup Kathrine but eventually gets shutdown. But he ends up getting what he wants, Katherine. The way they banter they have with each other is endearing and through all of Jack's crap you can till she still loves.

    JACK: Well hello again.
    KATHERINE: This is a private box!
    JACK: If you wanna I should lock the door. Twice in one day; you think that’s fate!
    KATHERINE: Go away, I’m working.
    JACK: Oh, a workin’ girl, huh? Doin’ what?
    KATHERINE: Reviewing the show for the New York Sun.
    JACK: Hey, I work for The World!
    KATHERINE: Oh, somewhere out there someone cares. Go tell them!
    JACK: The view's better here.
    KATHERINE: Please go. I’m not in the habit of speaking to strangers.
    JACK: You’re gonna make a lousy reporter, then. The name’s Jack Kelly.
    KATHERINE: Is that what it says on your rap sheet?
    JACK: Oh, a smart girl, huh? I admire smart girls. Beautiful, smart, independant.
    KATHERINE: Do you mind?
    MEN: [To Katherine, from below] Hey, keep quiet up there!
    MEDDA: [To Jack/ Katherine] You got in for free, at least pay attention!
    JACK: Sorry, Miss Medda.

  55. 1) Tension can be created through change, twists, and dialogue.
    2) I chose the Legend of the Claddagh. The tension is created in the twist where Mick shows up at Mimi's house out of nowhere. It was especially tense leading up to it, with her clear unease and hurry to be away from everyone. She was obviously feeling very strained and her eagerness to be alone rubs off on the reader, as well.
    3) It's not an exact quote, but there is a lot of tension in one of my favorite books, Twenties Girl. In this book, the protagonist, Lara, meets the ghost of her estranged great grandmother, Sadie. Sadie ends up being extremely stubborn and strong willed, which creates a lot of tension with the also stubborn Lara. Sadie constantly demands Lara do ridiculous things for her, like stop her funeral by actually going to the police with false leads to start a murder investigation. This creates tension because the reader never knows what Sadie will do next, and neither does Lara, but it can be assumed it will cause a lot of trouble.

  56. Tension in any work of literature can be created through the use of change, twists, and dialog. Change refers to a variation in the plot that disrupts the daily flow of the protagonist's routine and often makes them feel threatened or perturbed. Twists are surprises that are generated by the author to entice the reader to think about the consequences these events will have on the protagonist, and on the plot. Dialog refers to the highlights of a conversation between two characters, used to reveal important information or to place emphasis on a conflict.

    As far as the three examples go, I really liked the second one, Maggie Flynn. Romantic tension is placed through the use of narrative techniques, mostly, such as narration and speech. The explanation of events, as well as all the character's feelings, really illustrate the gravity of the situation Mimi is in. She wants vengeance for her brother and goes to the man she loved to tell her the truth about his death, and when the truth is revealed and she finally has the means of vengeance, she hesitates. She wants to forgive him, and he loves her, but he knows he can't have her. Dialog is also an effective tool in the passage. The things Mick says to Mimi reveal information previously unknown to her and cause her to question everything she knew about the situation that brought her there, and question the relationship she had with Mick. They both want each other and to be happy with one another, but this large conflict sits as a barrier between the both of them.

    One of my favorite books in middle school was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and the entire book is classified as being a thriller. It's about a boy named Clay who spends a night walking around town as he hears tapes recorded by a girl who committed suicide; the tapes detail stories that lead to her demise, subsequently revealing the truth about who she was and what happened to her that influenced her decision to take her life.

    1. “Sir?” she repeats. “How soon do you want it to get there?”
      I rub two fingers, hard, over my left eyebrow. The throbbing has become intense. “It doesn’t matter,” I
      The clerk takes the package. The same shoebox that sat on my porch less than twenty-four hours ago; rewrapped in a brown paper bag, sealed with clear packing tape, exactly as I had received it. But now addressed with a new name. The next name on Hannah Baker’s list.
      “Baker’s dozen,” I mumble. Then I feel disgusted for even noticing it.
      “Excuse me?”
      I shake my head. “How much is it?”
      She places the box on a rubber pad, then punches a sequence on her keypad. I set my cup of gas-station coffee on the counter and glance at the screen. I pull a few bills from my wallet, dig some coins out of my pocket, and place my money on the counter.
      “I don’t think the coffee’s kicked in yet,” she says. “You’re missing a dollar.”
      I hand over the extra dollar, then rub the sleep from my eyes. The coffee’s lukewarm when I take a sip, making it harder to gulp down. But I need to wake up somehow. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s best to get through the day half-asleep. Maybe that’s the only way to get through today.
      “It should arrive at this address tomorrow,” she says. “Maybe the day after tomorrow.” Then she drops the box into a cart behind her.
      I should have waited till after school. I should have given Jenny one final day of peace. Though she doesn’t deserve it. When she gets home tomorrow, or the next day, she’ll find a package on her doorstep. Or if her mom or dad or someone else gets there first, maybe she’ll find it on her bed. And she’ll be excited. I was excited. A package with no return address? Did they forget, or was it intentional? Maybe from a secret admirer?
      “Do you want your receipt?” the clerk asks.
      I shake my head. A small printer clicks one out anyway. I watch her tear the slip across the serrated plastic and drop it into a wastebasket.
      There’s only one post office in town. I wonder if the same clerk helped the other people on the list, those who got this package before me. Did they keep their receipts as sick souvenirs? Tuck them in their underwear drawers? Pin them up on corkboards? I almost ask for my receipt back. I almost say, “I’m sorry, can I have it after all?” As a reminder. But if I wanted a reminder, I could’ve made copies of the tapes or saved the map. But I never want to hear those tapes again, though her voice will never leave my head. And the houses, the streets, and the
      high school will always be there to remind me.
      It’s out of my control now. The package is on its way. I leave the post office without the receipt. Deep behind my left eyebrow, my head is still pounding. Every swallow tastes sour, and the closer I get to school, the closer I come to collapsing. I want to collapse. I want to fall on the sidewalk right there and drag myself into the ivy. Because just beyond the ivy the sidewalk curves, following the outside of the school parking lot. It cuts through the front lawn and into the main building. It leads through the front doors and turns into a hallway, which
      meanders between rows of lockers and classrooms on both sides, finally entering the always-open door to first period.
      At the front of the room, facing the students, will be the desk of Mr. Porter. He’ll be the last to receive a package with no return address. And in the middle of the room, one desk to the left, will be the desk of Hannah Baker.

  57. Three key skills involved in creating tension are change, dialogue, and unpredictability.

    I chose to analyze the Maggie Flynn example. Right off the bat, there is romantic tension between Mimi and Mick. Talking about how desperately she wanted to be taken into his arms and told how much he loves her. You know it's just going to go downhill from there. As the story goes on, the suspension builds. Mick points a gun at Mimi, offers the weapon to her only to have it backfire on him. The tension within this story is caused by an unstable relationship between two unstable people.

    The scene I chose to share with you is one from Grey's Anatomy. Although it is not a book, I believe there to be a tremendous amount of tension in each and every episode.

    Owen: Calm down! Just tell me what the problem is.

    Cristina: Owen?? Owen!

    *Gun pointed at Cristina*

    Owen: Hey woah, hold on! Talk to me.

    Shooter: Stop fixing him. Let him die. Let him lie there and die. Do you want me to shoot you?!

    Cristina: *crying* no.

    Owen: Cristina.

    Cristina: No. Jackson. Plant the heilem so he can get control of the hemorrhage so I can get better visualization.

    Shooter: *points gun at jackson* Don't you dare.

    Cristina: Clamp the heilem so I can see!

    *owen moves forward. Shooter points gun at him.

    Shooter: Stay back! You..stay back.

    And then the scene goes on to Cristina fixing Derek, Meredith (Dereks wife) barging in and exclaiming for the shooter to kill her and not Derek. The amount of tension in just this one scene is baffling. Through the use of language to the unexpected plot twists, it pulls the viewer in clinging on to every movement, every sound that is happening.

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