aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure - tension

I’m still a sucker for writing books. I recently read Plot & Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) (Write Great Fiction). In one section he talks bout how you can stretch out the tension. He says you should go through a scene beat by beat as if you’re watching a movie. Then write the scene alternating between action, thoughts, dialog, and description. Here’s his example:
[Action] Mary took a step back.
[Dialog] “Don’t be afraid,” the man said.
[Thoughts] How did he get in here? The doors are all locked.
[Action]He swayed where he stood and [Description] she could smell the beer on his breath.
[Dialog] “Get out,” she said.
[Action] He laughed and slid toward her.

And here it is again, even more extended.
[Action] Mary took a step back, bumping the end table. [Description] A vase crashed to the floor.
[Dialog] “Don’t be afraid,” the man said. “I don’t want to hurt your, Mary. I want to be you friend.”
[Thoughts] How did he get in here? The doors are all locked. And then she remembered she had left the garage door open for Johnny. Stupid, stupid. You deserve this, you always deserve what you get.
I’m incorporating this technique in something I’m working on now.

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Tags: writing
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