How to Use Tension to Keep Your Readers Engaged in the Story

Just as a story thrives on conflict, it also thrives on the tension created by that conflict. Tension creates a sense of unknown and leaves the readers wondering what is going to happen next. It is vital to keeping the story alive in the reader’s mind, and to do so, there must be some form of tension in every scene, preferably every page. Even if the tension isn't resolved in the current scene, it can set the stage for future events and keep the reader turning the pages.

How to Strengthen Your Narrative Drive

A story can fall flat when your story does not have the momentum to push the reader forward page by page. A strong narrative drive directs everything in your story toward one point and keeps the plot from wandering and focused in the direction it needs to go. We grab the reader’s attention by presenting the protagonist with heavy consequences for failure to reach their goals. Each action builds upon the last until we finally reach the end. Cause and effect. Plain and simple. Anything that doesn’t fit into this cause-and-effect relationship doesn’t belong in the story, unless it is part of a parallel plot or subplot.