Micro Tension – Keep Your Reader Flipping Those Pages

Micro Tension - Keep Your Reader Flipping Those Pages

Well after a long hiatus I’m back with more discussion on writing. Donald Maass, perhaps the most powerful literary agent in the business, cites micro-tension as the most important weapon in an author’s arsenal to create compelling novels. But what is micro-tension?

Micro-tension is those little conflicts (not necessarily physical) that keep the reader moving page after page, even when key plot points aren’t taking place. A character is spooked by a house – that’s micro tension. John’s wife gives him a small, but not unnoticed glare from across the room – that’s micro tension.

Mastering micro-tension is key to mastering the story that readers just can’t put down.

Read an excerpt from Maass’s book, The Fire in Fiction (which I highly recommend reading), and a follow-up discussion by Wordswimmer, to learn more about the power of micro-tension.