• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I Said Be Careful His Bowtie is Really Camera


I’m watching the final episodes of the Sopranos. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can sense it. The tension is building. Almost unbearable. How do you build tension in a piece? A stray cat? A mother pushing a stroller with a kid in a pink snowsuit, a double breasted robin? Do you ask questions? Do you withhold information, give too much? Is it pacing? Tone? Do you drop clues? Deepen your characters? Makes things more complex? Or clearer. Collude with the reader or keep her at arm’s length. Cliffhangers? Clues? A stray cat, a mother pushing a stroller with a kind in a pink snowsuit, a double breasted robin?

How do you build tension?

5 Responses

  1. Take the plausible killer’s POV.

  2. “How do you build tension?”

    You grow a story. If there are roses in your garden, they will have thorns. If there are mushrooms, they may be capped with death. Venus Flytraps may be growing among the wildflowers.

  3. I loved the Sopranos. I’ve been contemplating re-watching it.

    Building tension, subtly hint/suggest at the trouble to come.

  4. tension builds itself. Be true and it will too.

  5. Think punk. Play loud, play fast; breakneck pace. Think of the words as chords and when they reach a crescendo, they’ll either break or resolve themselves. Never think you can’t play faster.

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