I'm going to try Discussion Friday again, and see if some of y'all will hop in and respond.
Actually, this one is not so much discussion as a mini-workshop/exercise, something we did at Surrey that proved quite interesting.
How can you ratchet up the tension in even one or two lines of text? How can you up the stakes, play with the words, or make the situation more interesting?
I'll do an example, first, from TMT.
Someone was in the kitchen. I could see the lamp glow shining down the hall, hear the soft crackle of the fire and murmuring voices. An odd sort of murmuring, like singing.
Without even knowing context, how can we make this more interesting? Okay, I'll give a little context. It's the middle of the night, and my MC is trying to sneak out of a dark, quiet house. Well, I ruin the tension a little right there in the first line, by telling you someone is in the kitchen. Would it be more intriguing if I held onto that information until the end of the paragraph? Let's see.
Suddenly the darkness was broken by the glow of a lamp, and the sound of murmuring voices. An odd sort of murmuring, like singing. Who could be singing, at this time of night?
Is that better? I'm not sure. It does seem more tense, doesn't it?
How about you--would you like to try this experiment? Let's give it a shot. Email me a couple lines of your text, and later today I'll post them anonymously. Then we can all try our hand at making them more tense. Let's have a little fun for Friday. :)
Medieval Word of the Day: yever: Greedy, covetous.