I’m at that section again, where events in the story start to pile up, creating tension. 

Creating tension in fiction, particularly in crime fiction or psychological thrillers, takes a great deal of thought.  Too much, and the story loses its sense of reality, taking on a monotonous tone (ie. “one thing after another”); two little, and the story becomes boring.  Additionally, the tension has to compliment the character’s true nature (their motives and sources of conflict). 


The following section comes from the subsidiary (female) viewpoint in my current novel . The character, aged seventeen, has got herself into a lot of trouble.

Back door open. No Arthur.  Nothing, apart from the sense of someone waiting by the trees, peering in at the cottage, at her. A person again, watching.  A shaft of sunlight fell in the centre of the garden, creating patterns that danced in front of her eyes, and the light obscured the person by the trees  She blinked; the next time she looked, the person had gone.

Shutting the front door quietly, she left the cottage, turned right and hid behind a barn. Now what?  Should she take a taxi or bus?  She needed to reach Jace or Gavin before Arthur contacted the police.

Her phone rang.   

Unfamiliar number.


‘Lucy,’ a voice whispered. ‘Is that you?’

The voice.  Familiar, so familiar.  Like Arthur’s, but much younger. Male, husky from years of cigarette smoking. She thought she’d never hear it again.

‘Lucy, it’s me. Don’t turn round,’ the voice whispered.


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