Hello and welcome to this creative writing tip. Janet here on the edge of London, on a beautiful November day. Well, it was raining earlier, but the sun has now come out. 🙂 And as it is November, every hour of sunshine is welcome!

Which reminds me of tension – we need it in our novels, as much as we need the rain in winter, but there has to be an ebb and flow. Because we need the sunshine, too!

Are you good at building up tension in your story, then letting your readers relax again? It’s an important skill for story writers. It’s like stretching a piece of elastic… just when it’s about to snap, you let it go. Phew! This process helps to build engagement in your story, making it exciting and fun to read.

Here’s a writing exercise for you, for a bit of sneaky practice (similar to one we do in one of our Write for a Reason mini-courses*).

Time to get out your writing journal!

1. A group of children suspect one of their school teachers is stealing school supplies. Write a scene where the children are spying on the suspect. Try to build up some tension. Something is surely going to go wrong!

2. Just at the wrong moment, one of the children sneezes. Write what happens. Try to include some humour. The children will, of course, win through!

*For a short time only, The Write for a Reason “Easy but Brilliant Ways to Make Your Story Fun” mini-course costs £1 with coupon code “winter19”. (Usual price £9.99.) If you are called to write stories for children from a Christian perspective, you will love this course, where you will have fun and improve your writing skills at the same time! Click here to join in. 🙂

Hope the weather is beautiful where you are!

Janet Wilson from Write for a Reason and Dernier Publishing

Blessings to you all in Jesus’ name,


Tension – the Ebb and Flow
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