Friday, June 25, 2010

Jargon - writing tip

Writing, like other professions has its own jargon. Once an editor scrawled "good writing, but lacks tension" on a returned story.

I knew he was trying to tell me something, but I hadn't a clue what he meant by tension. My dictionary, which said "the strength of a cable" and "a nervous condition," didn't help, either.

Tension, by the way (now, I know, right?) is the amount of emotional investment the reader has in your characters. If I'm writing a detective story and the reader doesn't like the detective enough to care whether he gets shot or not, that's "lacks tension."

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