Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.

18.09: Unpacking the Tension

For the next several episodes we’ll be talking about tension. That may seem like a lot of time to spend on just one word, but as we unpack that word we see that there’s plenty of material to work with, and there’s a generous supply of tools in that material.

For our purposes, we’ve categorized the tension subcategories as follows:

  • Anticipation
  • Juxtaposition
  • Unanswered Questions
  • Conflict
  • Microtension

Your own taxonomy may differ, and that’s fine, but having a taxonomy is important because when we name our tools we’re better at using them.

Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Homework: In this episode we covered five types of tension: Anticipation, Juxtaposition, Unanswered Questions, Conflict, and Microtension. Look at your current WIP (or something that you are reading) and identify examples of each of these.

Thing of the week: Dark One: Forgotten, by Brandon Sanderson & Dan Wells.
This will be featured in an upcoming “Deep Dive” episode.

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