Reader Poll… Coupla Other Ditties

Greetings from Wenatchee, Washington.  I’m here as a presenter at the “Write on the River” writing conference, a great event in a gorgeous college venue.

I’m delivering two workshops, one on how to pump up the level of tension in our stories, the other a 4-hour version of my basic “Six Core Competencies” workshop. 

This morning I had the privilege of introducing the keynote speaker for this conference, Terry Brooks.  Should have seen the look of confusion in about 200 pairs of eyes when I was introduced.  Had some fun with that one.

And Terry Brooks… wow.  Great guy.  An iconic name in fiction.  With whom I shared salmon and writerly war stories last night.

Reason I even bring this up here…

In preparing the outline for the “high tension” workshop, I discovered a wealth of good stuff to cover.  Subtle, less-than-obvious ways to approach this critical aspect of narrative fiction. 

So much, in fact, that I’m thinking it might make a killer series here on Storyfix.  The title I’m using : “Snap, Crackle, Pop: How to Jack the Tension in Your Stories.”

Would make a revelant ebook, too.

Wondering what you think — is this something you’d like to see covered here on Storyfix?  And, is this an ebook that might interest  you down the road?

By the way, remember that recent call for ideas for topics to appear here in the near future?  I’m not ignoring you, I plan on getting to them all.  Including short story structure, by the way, which was the overwhelming majority suggestion.

Next Deconstruction

In case you missed it, I’ll be doing An Education soon.  Rent the DVD so you can follow this Oscar nominated genius story as we rip it to shreds, scene by scene. 

Also, on Monday I’ll be running the posts I received this week about the Shutter Island deconstruction.  Thanks for all the kind feedback, I think I can mark that one up as a successful effort.

Character Review

If you’re interested, my ebook “The Three Dimensions of Character” has been reviewed on The Book Connection, a popular online reading venue.  You can read the review HERE.

If you like what you read, you can learn more here… and/or – let’s cut to the chase — you can buy it here.

(Obligatory legal notice: Storyfix is a marketing affiliate of


Filed under other cool stuff

27 Responses to Reader Poll… Coupla Other Ditties

  1. Ez

    Yes, yes and YES!! Please do a series on tension.
    I don’t suppose you have any tensions tips for love triangles. 😉

  2. Do the deed! Then, when you’ve got feedback, comments, et. al., create a new ebook as you did with Story Structure. I’ll buy it, you betcha!

    As with SS Demystified, the ebook would be value-added.

  3. I would love a series on tension, and would be interested in a book on the same subject. I’m almost done with Three Dimensions of a Character, and as usual, the ideas are simple yet not necessarily obvious. I highly recommend it!

  4. A series on jackin’ up the tension would be the BOMB, Larry! YES, PLEASE!

    And I’m still going after the story structure ebook; the six core competencies are next; now add tension-building too? I’m in hog heaven.

    This has been, without question, the most informative writing web site on the Internet for me. Thanks for keeping it so awesome.

    Can’t wait for that short story structure bit either. That’s gonna rule.

  5. Kelly

    Hello Larry. Kelly here.
    Series on snap/crackle/pop sounds “wicked”.
    I’m all for a book on the subject if it seems appropriate.
    Short story structure would be great. I find myself using a Part 1, a 2-3 middle, and a Part 4 on these- not sure if that’s the best; would enjoy your take on it, Larry.
    Got “An Education” ready to watch later this weekend.
    Thanks– Kelly

  6. Patrick Sullivan

    Count me in as well for a series on ratcheting up the tension. Would be really good since my current story idea has thriller elements, where keeping the tension/pressure mounting seems kind of important 😉

  7. Dale Ivan Smith

    A series on ramping up the tension in fiction would be terrific! And it would make a great topic for an eBook. I’d buy that in a heartbeat.

  8. Williams

    A serious on tension would actually be great to say the least=)
    (SEO Writing Services)


  9. Brad Fitzgerald

    Larry, great to meet you at the conference today. You’ve got a ton of great content here on your blog and at your workshops. Your readers are lucky writers!

  10. Hi Larry. I’d love to read a series about tension, especially if it could be applied to not only increasing tension through the plot but also how to show increasing tension within character relationships.

  11. Sandra S. Richardson

    I would be very interested in a series (and possibly an ebook as well) on tension in stories. Particularly subtle tension. I feel when conflict/tension is usually talked about it is often the huge, mega, earth shattering kind while I feel that, in many of the stories I read and enjoy, it is often the more subtle tensions/conflicts that give the story more depth.

    Glad to hear you are keeping busy and doing well! 🙂


  12. Shirls

    A series on tension sounds great. And an ebook absolutely wonderful.

  13. Lisa Miller

    Larry, The tension series sounds like a great addition to your/our toolbox. I’m a Brooks eBook junkie so yes to that too.

  14. Both would definitely be of interest to me. I think it is easier to see how tension and conflict can be created or found in Mysteries, Thrillers, Fantasy…pretty much any of the genres that have a good guy and a bad guy or several of each, but I find it harder to apply those principles to the romance genre. Can you try to include aspects of how these things would be impacted in this specific genre? Thanks

  15. I’d love to read a series about ramping up the tension in stories.

    I agree with Sandra — some tips about how to boost the subtle tension would be great.

  16. Tom

    Oh yeah! Do “Snap, Crackle, Pop: How to Jack the Tension in Your Stories” and the ebook too. Please

  17. nancy

    Tension. Yes! I just spent 2 hours this morning returning to the beginning of my manuscript to raise the stakes and add some urgency. I probably need to do this throughout. A series on tension in the near future would be perfect timing for me.

    And also–as I’ve asked before–can you tell us where to find a list of your workshops. I could have easily driven to Wenatchee had I known.

  18. Katy

    Larry, I loved your Write on the River workshops, both of them. I took notes and started applying the information to my work in progress in class and right after. Thanks so much.

  19. Tension is good… love to learn even more. 🙂

  20. Kate London

    Hey Larry,

    I’ve LOVED all your other ebooks on story structure and writing 3 dimensional characters (got some of my writerly friends to buy them too!) An ebook on tension would be awesome! Because as far as I’m concerned, that’s the name of the game.

    I vote for ebook rather than series of blog posts because it’s important to go into this subject in-depth, and I’d like to have the information together all at once. Easier for future reference.

    Besides, while it’s nice of you to share cool info on your blog–you gotta eat too! And no, your wife did not put me up to saying that 🙂

    Either way–CANNOT wait to read it!

  21. Yes!

    (Brevity being the soul of wit, according to Shakespeare)

  22. We can always benefit from additional tension in our work, so I say go for it!

  23. Frank Morin

    I second (or thirty) the votes on the tension series.

    And I’d love info on short story structure. I’m a fat epic fantasy writer by inclinatio, but I’m planning on trying my hand at writing short story next month just to shake things up and learn to discipline myself better in length, so I’d love any advice you have to give.

    Keep up the great work! Thanks a million for all the effort you put into StoryFix.

  24. Rich Procter

    Would LOVE a series on tension. I suggest a name change. When asked the most important quality of crime fiction, Michael Connelly (the master of plotting, in my opinion) said, “Velocity.” Start fast, and speed up.

  25. nancy

    Rick P.–Love it!

  26. Larry,

    I was very impressed with you at the seminar at WOTR in Wenatchee. Great job. I look forward to reading more about you and your teachings on your webpage. Thanks again!


  27. hey Larry – your workshops at Write On the River conference in Wenatchee have changed my writing life! I still consider myself a beginner (obviously since these 6 core compentencies are new to me) even though I’ve been working on a novel for over 9 years. But this is what it’s been missing – the skeleton – the tension! The plot points, dividing the story into sections, mid-point twist, mission driven scene writing . . . all of it! I can’t wait to watch some of the movies you’ve suggested, and reading the books to break them down and see how it’s done. Now there’s hope for my novel. To the blank page ~ Jennifer