How can Writers combine Small Tensions?

  • Deep tension happens when what one person wants is in direct conflict with what another person wants

  • Have separate small climaxes that lead to the main climax of your story

  • In revision, pull out the threads of your story, develop them, then connect and weave them together

  • Ask yourself how can I make this scene more impactful?

Books and Media We Talked About

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Winter Night Trilogy by Katherine Arden

"Seven Point Plot Structure" by Dan Wells

If you would like a first chapter critique, check out our submission guidelines here


About our Guest

​KATHERINE ARDEN is the NYT bestselling author of The Winternight Trilogy (The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch) as well as Small Spaces and Dead Voices.

Born in Texas, Katherine studied French and Russian at Middlebury College. She has lived abroad in France and in Moscow, among other places. She has also lived in Hawaii, where she wrote much of The Bear and the Nightingale. She currently lives in Vermont.

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