24 July 2010

Stop to smell the tension

When I'm writing I have a tendency to rush my scenes. Instead of exploring and developing the tension between characters, I want to hurry on to the next bit of action. Strangely, I don't think the cause is eagerness to get the book written. Instead, I think it's cowardice. Exploring the tension between two characters is hard work. It's about identifying emotional complexity and revealing it in a way that brings the reader in. It's about balancing external and internal conflicts, getting the pace of the book right and allowing the drama of quiet moments to have its time.

Looking over the first chapter of the sweet contemporary I'm writing I can see that I've rushed the moment when heroine and hero encounter each other. Sure I stay with the scene, but I rush over the details of their awareness of each other. I move on to the action when the story needs to stay with the character revelation a moment longer. So that's my challenge for this morning. Be brave. Begin to reveal the emotional vulnerabilities of my characters.

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