Episode 84: Women’s Historical Fiction Critique

Episode Description

In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of a women’s historical fiction novel submitted by an anonymous author. They discuss tension, conflict, character traits, and description.

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Show Notes

Tension isn’t an experience of the moment, it’s a partial experience of the moment with a constant focusing of attention on what comes next. Tension depends on the idea of events beyond the section in which the reader actually feels tense.

The constant force that keeps events tense is the reader’s constant awareness of what comes next.
— Robert Wood


Editorial Mission—Increase the Tension

Below, are several options for increasing the tension in your story. Look for places where you can apply them to keep your reader fully engaged.

  • Time pressure
  • Characters with opposing goals
  • Take away something she’s relying on
  • Increase the stakes
  • Reveal a twist
  • Make it personal
  • Conflict waiting to happen/anticipation

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Inline Critique