What is Tension in a Novel?

Check out Nancy Curteman’s Blog about Tension!

Global Mysteries

Bookmark and Share


What is Tension in a mystery novel? Tension is that element in a novel that evokes emotions such as worry, anxiety, fear and stress on the part of both the reader and the characters in a novel. Bill Johnson provides a great analogy that emphasizes the importance of tension: “…tension can be compared to an electrical current that runs through a story. The weaker the current, the less a story transmits to an audience. The greater the current, the greater the involvement of an audience.”

At first the idea of tension seems a bit abstract. We all know it when we experience it, but putting the definition of tension into words requires some thought. Let’s look at a few of the attributes of tension. Tension is

anticipation of conflict. The reader and the characters know a problem is on the horizon.

changes that impact the novel’s characters.

View original post 249 more words


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s