Releasing your inner dragon

Mistake Alert: Are You Killing the Tension in Your Stories? Learn How to Fix It!

June 21, 2024 Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake Season 4 Episode 23
Mistake Alert: Are You Killing the Tension in Your Stories? Learn How to Fix It!
Releasing your inner dragon
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Releasing your inner dragon
Mistake Alert: Are You Killing the Tension in Your Stories? Learn How to Fix It!
Jun 21, 2024 Season 4 Episode 23
Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake

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Join Drake and Marie as they discuss how to add tension to your story in any scene.
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Give us feedback at releasingyourinnerdragon(at)gmail(dot)com


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Marie's contact details:
Just In Time Worlds:

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Join Drake and Marie as they discuss how to add tension to your story in any scene.
Writer's room (50% off for lifetime membership):

Membership for Just In Time Worlds:

Give us feedback at releasingyourinnerdragon(at)gmail(dot)com


Drake's Contact Details:
Starving Writer Studio:
Drake-U:  - Use RYID25 for 25% off!
Writer's Room:

Marie's contact details:
Just In Time Worlds:

00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:13.733
Drake: If you can build tension into every single page of your book in all these different ways, that's where it comes from because there is no one way to do it and you need to use all of them throughout your book. You just use, you know, this.

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Releasing your inner dragon.

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Marie: So Drake when someone says I think that this podcast needs some tension, what do you argue we should do?

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Drake: That's an interesting question because that's the one thing that I think, me and you.

00:00:48.433 --> 00:00:52.433
Drake: Try to manufacture sometimes is tension between their

00:00:52.433 --> 00:01:00.366
Drake: because we do we do agree on so much on things. I mean, we're definitely different in.

00:01:00.500 --> 00:01:04.066
Drake: Lots of different ways. I mean, not just because I'm American and you're Finnish.

00:01:04.133 --> 00:01:05.400
Drake: Like there's a.

00:01:05.400 --> 00:01:08.166
Drake: Ton of ways that we're different, but

00:01:08.166 --> 00:01:17.666
Drake: yeah, I mean, I don't know, we're always looking to like in the pre podcast, we're always looking for like, what can we disagree on so that we can have a discussion that brings up,

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Drake: I think

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Drake: the

00:01:18.800 --> 00:01:21.466
Drake: question we should start with is what is tension?

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Drake: Because, you know, people talk about tension all the time.

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Drake: They're like, you got to add tension to your scene, you got to add tension to every page. You got to add tension to this. I don't think that I've ever seen a really good definition of tension until, man, you sat down and really started talking about how.

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Drake 1: Would we teach this?

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Marie: And that is because, you know, we are actually brilliant and you should all subscribe for our brilliance.

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Drake 1: Absolutely. At least half of this, half of us on.

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Drake: The other half is just here with a beard.

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Marie: So we'll never tell you which is which. That’s right. I identify as having a beard.

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Marie: So what is the definition of tension that we came up with in our remarkable brilliance?

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Drake 1: So.

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Drake: Yeah, because, you know, I mean, how many times have both me and you said that to people. I mean, we talked about how I had that one chapter in Genesis that I just was like, Man, it does its job. It you know, it teaches magic to the reader. And you were like, But it has no tension. You've said this a million times to people.

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Drake: I'm like, my God, you're right. So when we were talking about this, we're talking about all the different ways of like, okay, here's here's a way to add tension to a page and here's a way to add tension to a page and here's a way to add tension to a page and so on and so forth. But what it kind of dawned on both was probably at the same time what tension actually is, is where two opposing things meet.

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Drake: Yeah, it's just like an earthquake. You have two tectonic plates that are pushing in together when they where they meet is where the earthquake can happen. Earthquake can't happen out here because this is all solid. So it's where they meet. And so as we go through this, you know, hopefully the audience will start seeing like it's this force hitting this force.

00:03:08.000 --> 00:03:32.133
Drake: And the tension is that that joining spot, that place where they touch. And that's the reason why in creative writing, you have to constantly pit everything against everything, because that's where the tension comes from. It could be anything. And we're going to go through a bunch of different things that you can think about for adding tension to every single page of your manuscript, But that's really where it comes from.

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Drake: It's just the joining spot. It's where these two opposing forces.

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Drake 1: Meet.

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Drake: And rub together. And the more so, like going back to your original question, we definitely are two forces, but since we align on most things, we're going in the same direction. There's not there's not that pushing force between us. So there's a lot less tension in our podcast than there probably ever will be. And you know, a lot of podcast because we are moving in the same direction most of time.

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Drake: And when we don't, we're rubbing against each other a little bit. It creates a little bit of tension, but it's different from getting like two people on two opposing sides of an argument. You know, each one is coming at it from a completely different angle and that tension where they meet is huge. And so it's the same thing in stories.

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Drake: And we don't want a story that is just insane tension from start to finish because there's no room to breathe. There's no room for the audience to just consume and take a moment to really have the situation they had happened in them, impact them. So it's you want tension every page. But some of that tension is mostly a line tension with a little bit of rubbing together.

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Drake: And some of it is just two forces slamming against each other, you know, like in a death scene, I'm going to kill you or you're going to kill me like that. It doesn't get much more about those things than that.

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Drake 1: That's a lot of.

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Drake: Tension in that because I'm trying to kill you and you're trying to kill me. And so but you can't have an entire story of that.

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Marie: Yeah. So yeah. So basically your tension is generated when you have conflict between two components of the story. Yeah. And I guess we're going to plunge into it and discuss the elements that generate tension or how you can create these forces to create tension on the page.

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Marie: And the first one that I feel we should talk about is if you have completely inside of the character so internal conflict within the character and you generate this by having the character experience conflicting emotions.

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Drake: So I mean, but even we can even take out the, the conflict side of it for this really what, what we discussed before, this is just if your character's experiencing an emotion, they should also be experiencing a different emotion. And that's, you know, where those two a meet is, where that is. So you had some examples.

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Marie: Yeah. So if you think about say, the this the book one set up of Harry Potter of the of the Harry Potter book one, you have the conflict the emotional conflict of Harry being treated poorly but being excited because you walk to it. But who's better, right? Because that's that's where we're introduced to is where he's like woken up and he's in his closet under the stairs.

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Marie: And we know he's poorly treated, but he's also thinking, it's my birthday, you know, And that is it is a great contrast of events. Yeah, I think I think that was the beginning of the look. I speak in a correction, but that birthday scene is a great, great example of it because he wakes up under the under the stairs.

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Marie: It's his birthday and you know.

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Drake: Is it birth there, Christmas?

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Marie: No, no, no. I'm sure it's not Christmas. I don't think he's ever spent that Christmas in the Dursleys.

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Drake 1: Right. It can't be Christmas. Yeah.

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Marie: Yeah. I'm pretty sure it's like, man, it's been too long since I've read the Harry Potter books, but, you know. But anyway, so. So that. That's weird.

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Drake 1: That's so. So your character.

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Drake: Is going for a job interview, extra excited like this. This job is going to be great. It's going to change my life. It's going to be You knew all this, but what if I don't get it?

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Drake 1: Yes.

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Drake: Like and it's.

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Drake 1: That it's that.

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Drake: Thing. I mean, if they're just if you just write the scene where, you know, Bob is going off for his job interview and you're just he's so excited and he loves this this industry. And he just graduated college in this field. And and he's all excited and he's happy. And he he he's been recommended for this position and all this.

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Drake 1: Okay, great. Good for Bob.

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Drake: But there's no tension in that scene now. The tension is going to come from something else, either, you know what.

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Marie: If he doesn't get it, he really needs it. Because if he doesn't get it, he's got nothing else lined up.

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Drake 1: Right.

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Drake: And school loans are going to come due and so that's just the internal. And so this is what we talk about here.

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Marie: Where it's like a actually a really good example now that I think about it is Katniss is opening in Hunger Games because she opens up and there's the immediate sense of love, the chance for her family, right? Because she's got her sister and her mother in the same room. You get the concept of they're a close family, but you also get the impending dread of it being a tribute to Jack.

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Marie: It's right there in your face. These two conflicting emotions of.

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Drake: And that's more external.

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Marie: And it's external, but it is also in the emote, like Katniss feels the dread and she feels the love.

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Drake 1: Certain.

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Marie: And those too like, to be fair, there's a lot of tension in that book. Like, yeah, all.

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Drake: And that's what makes it good. I mean that's yeah, tension is the is the dirty little secret of successful books.

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Drake 1: Yes.

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Drake: If you can build tension into every single page of your book in all these different ways, that's where it comes from because there is no one way to do it and you need to use all of them throughout your book. You just use, you know, this.

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Drake: But so as an example, to expand it to the external, this one is great, but if we just take the Bob interview, if, if it's if the internal is, if we just wanted to go with that, we going for this job interview.

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Drake: But you know, I don't have a lot of confidence myself. I actually don't have any experience. So why would they pick me? Like there's no external little part of that. So that builds some tension. So just like we were talking about, that's the two forces. But maybe they're not just slamming each other, you know, into it. However, we find out that this is the final interview.

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Drake: There's been many interviews and the last two people that are being interviewed are Bob and Bob's wife, and only one of them are going to get the job.

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Drake 1: And that's a lot of fun. Really want it? Yeah.

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Drake: So now we have this external conflict of what does it do to their marriage, you know, with this competition versus.

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Drake 1: You know.

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Marie: And it's over to who no matter who wins because what like if either of them get it, it's going to have a huge impact.

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Drake: Yeah. Or if it's not that, what if it's just my enemy, the person I detest the most? Like, why did it have to be them? Like a thorn in my side my whole life or, you know, just a best friend or even a stranger? It doesn't matter. But that adds this external conflict that I'm now worried about. I guess the stranger doesn't do too much, but.

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Drake: But an enemy, a spouse, a friend, a brother or a sister like these things now add an external conflict to the I want the job. What if I don't get the job? And so that's why I just wanted to focus on just the emotional side, because yes, we can add the external side and we're going to talk about that because that's another, you know, external conflict is another form of tension generation.

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Drake: But I really want to stay pure here and I want people to understand that you can have a scene, not a whole scene. Not a whole scene. I'm sorry, I misspoke. You cannot have a whole scene like that. You can have a moment in the.

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Drake 1: Scene.

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Drake: Where the only tension is coming from two emotions. I'm really excited about this, but I'm also dreading this. I am really in love with you, but I'm also terrified because you know what, if you screw me over or, you know, whatever.

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Marie: I'm really in love with you. But what if you die? Like, you know? Yeah. Or all of those the emotions I am compelled to put or to give a more positive spin. I'm super depressed, but there is a glimmer of hope somewhere. I'm hopeful that I can pull myself out of this.

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Drake 1: Yeah, some.

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Drake: Yeah. And not even talking about the externals. So again, I'm not. You absolutely should include the external, the internal, all this other stuff. But, but I think one of the things that people just miss is just whatever emotional state your character is in, in this moment of the scene warming in the opposite side of that or not even, you know, the more opposite, obviously, the more tension something that's not exactly in line with, even if it's even if it's I'm totally in love and I'm really hopeful that this one is going to work out like there's not much tension between I'm absolutely head over heels in love versus I'm also hopeful that this one actually

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Drake: makes it so. It's not like.

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Marie: Unless youre dexter.

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Drake: That is a good point because you're really hoping that it doesn't make it. But but yeah, so that's I just don't think a lot of people think about that. I don't think a lot of people think about the fact that internal and you know, it's funny because in the writers room, inevitably when I read somebody in the room and it's not because they're affected by this as a reader and though even say that they'll even say like, this didn't affect me as a reader, actually, I liked it.

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Drake: But and it's because we're focused on the writing and we're in that editing.

00:14:09.766 --> 00:14:11.466
Drake 1: And like this is.

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Drake: Happening, but they're feeling this thing that's kind of opposite.

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Drake 1: Of it. I'm like, Why? Why are you being so inconsistent?

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Drake: And that's what I'll get and not from anyone who's who's been doing it for a while. But, but newer members that are new to the process and they're just starting to really get focused in on, let's look at the act. You know, really edit this.

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Drake 1: And I'm like, well.

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Drake: This is a happy situation. But they're feeling a little trepidation and again, and every time they really like it didn't affect me as a reader though, but now I'm looking at it. There's a, there's a difference and it's like it didn't affect you as a reader because.

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Drake 1: It's a.

00:14:44.500 --> 00:14:45.066
Drake: Moment of.

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Drake 1: Tension. They get adds to the story. That's why. Yes, it is a juxtaposition.

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Drake: Yes, it is an inconsistency. And it is they're on purpose.

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Drake 1: To create.

00:14:58.033 --> 00:14:59.000
Drake: Tension.

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Drake 1: Through.

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Drake: This moment that has maybe no other tension. Yeah, maybe this is the only tension for this three paragraphs, five paragraphs of this of the scene. And so that's why I said I wanted to stay pure with the emotion. Does it is it is it as good to worry about not getting the job? Because then it just means you have to go out and start applying again versus not getting the job.

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Drake: Because I have a kid and cancer treatment and if I don't have a job, I can't take my child to, you know, try and get help.

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Marie: Obviously, the stakes go up dramatically.

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Marie: So I think that is a really good transition to take us to external

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Marie: conflict. So now there is the obvious external external conflict. So that is when you are trying to kill me and I'm trying to survive or I'm trying to kill you, like that is purely external. But and that can absolutely attention to the page.

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Marie: It is the way that a lot write this attention to the page. But I put it to you that if you also add internal conflict to that moment, if you add emotional stakes to that moment, it increases the tension by a magnitude of factors. So in our example of Bob going to apply, as you say now, he's really excited about this job.

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Marie: The third interview, he is ready for it and then the reader finds out, you know, but he's also worried. And why is he worried? Because his child is in cancer treatment and it's really expensive.

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Drake: And they have one week left of their cobra insurance.

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Drake 1: Yeah.

00:16:48.033 --> 00:16:52.433
Drake: From his last job. And once that runs out, he has no insurance.

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Marie: He has so so he needs this job. And then you have the excitement and the fear and you have the external event coming in and are at this point doesn't even need to be another person that he's competing with. This is all still internal within the character, right? It just has an additional external event adding richer to the situation.

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Drake: So and so that's it. I mean, we just have these opposing sides. I need to get the job to save my child, you know, fighting against I might not get the job. And so those the tension is created where those two grind together.

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Marie: Yeah. And then your you have additional ways to up that tension by increasing the stakes of not getting the job, which is where those external events come in. But if you think if we go back to our Katniss example, Katniss is dreading the coming of of this event distribute event she is she loves her family right. That's where the conflict is.

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Marie: Then the additional stressors is the tribute will take one of her family could take one of her family members and killed them. Yeah that significantly increases the tension level by increasing the stress and the stakes and that's what those that is where that external conflict adds the most value is when it is used as a stressor to the internal conflict.

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Drake: And and that's where rationing of tension comes in. So Bob comes into the interview, he needs to get this job or his, you know, his kid. He doesn't know how he's going to pay for cancer treatment and all this other stuff. And the interviewer is like, Bob, I really like you. You're absolutely qualified. This job, we're so going to hire you.

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Drake: Except and I know you're applying to be an accountant, but I think my wife is cheating on me and here's a camera. I need you to follow her. And if youll do this for me, I'll give.

00:18:54.733 --> 00:19:00.700
Drake 1: You the job. If it's.

00:19:00.766 --> 00:19:04.800
Drake: And then, of course, that's going to lead to. So you found out she just. You know what?

00:19:05.033 --> 00:19:07.400
Drake 1: I need you to kill her for me, okay.

00:19:07.733 --> 00:19:10.133
Marie: Wow. This is escalating fast.

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Drake 1: You just keep.

00:19:11.200 --> 00:19:17.500
Drake: Ratcheting that tension up, you know? And now, Bob, this accountants is nothing.

00:19:17.566 --> 00:19:35.433
Drake 1: But we're like. But it's your child. She's a she. Person that I can't say on YouTube. Just kill her it's fine. so you know, And that's how.

00:19:35.433 --> 00:19:45.000
Drake: We ratchet up tension. But each one of those is grading on the last. Each one of those is raising the stakes. And every time you raise the stakes.

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Drake: So I guess I just transition to one of our other points was raising the stakes is where we get tension. And that's an external thing where, you know, you can't really raise the stakes internally.

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Marie: No, internally, the character feels their conflict 100%, but it's then you can ratcheted up by raising the stakes. Okay. Now, Bob is in this interview and he's he's you know, and he gets a message from the hospital, you know, that his child has taken a turn for the worse. They need to increase this like you can add external stakes the whole time and increase the tension by your conflict.

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Marie: And that's also an interesting way to tie it back to your character's growth arc. So one of the problems with just adding tension in conflict, is that if you add tension in conflict, that is irrelevant, right? That's just there for that page, for that moment. Then it it just gets a bit blasé, like it doesn't go anywhere, but if your characters growth so their internal conflict is say you know that they are they are conflicted between doing the right thing like Bob is trying to get this job and on the other hand, he could go, he has an open offer to go launder money for the Chicago mob.

00:21:15.633 --> 00:22:00.333
Marie: Right. So he has a criminal option. He is trying to do the right thing and his growth arc is doing the right thing. Now, Bob, he gets this message that, you know, they now need a more expensive treatment. The stakes increase there, the temptation to turn to the crime life increases. And that ties back directly into Bob's core conflict, into his core growth talk as the as his two inner accountants align, on the one hand, the straight and narrow, and on the other hand, the guy who ends up in the Ozark Mountains.

00:22:00.400 --> 00:22:05.666
Marie: And that was a great show for anybody who hasn't seen it. Great.

00:22:05.733 --> 00:22:07.133
Drake: You talk about Ozark.

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Drake 1: Yes.

00:22:07.800 --> 00:22:14.500
Drake: So I love what's his name, the main actor of that, the guy from Arrested Development. Yes.

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Drake 1: Yeah.

00:22:15.566 --> 00:22:26.166
Drake: I love him as an actor. He was so great in Arrested Development. I think he's a way underrated actor. Have not seen Ozark. It's it it's on my list and I just haven't done it.

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Drake 1: But he's.

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Marie: So worth it.

00:22:28.266 --> 00:22:28.766
Drake 1: And.

00:22:29.000 --> 00:22:48.200
Drake: That's what I've heard. But but one that also is in that vein, that is just this constant ratcheting up. And it was an it made it success. His Breaking Bad. Yes It's this constant ratcheting up constant. I mean, they they never stop things. They just keep turning the heat up. They just keep turning it up and turn it off.

00:22:48.266 --> 00:22:56.066
Marie: And it's on the same conflict. It's the same conflict, Right. Well, what's his name? Whatever. White.

00:22:56.133 --> 00:22:57.200
Drake 1: Yeah. Walter White.

00:22:57.266 --> 00:23:02.266
Marie: Walter White has got the same conflict all the way.

00:23:02.333 --> 00:23:10.800
Drake: His is perverted compared to what they did in Ozark. For my understanding, what they did was dark. Walter White's is perverted because it is a very narcissistic.

00:23:11.033 --> 00:23:11.800
Drake 1: Selfish.

00:23:12.033 --> 00:23:24.066
Marie: 100%. But I mean, you know, it is the same internal conflict and that internal conflict gets worse and worse by the ratcheting up of the tension.

00:23:24.166 --> 00:23:24.600
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:23:24.666 --> 00:23:44.100
Marie: That's what I'm saying. And if you can keep your internal conflict connected to the characters growth or whether that's Walter White negative or like positive growth or whichever way you go, if you keep it connected, then you make the character's growth arc that much richer.

00:23:44.233 --> 00:23:45.166
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:23:45.233 --> 00:23:56.700
Drake: Yeah. And that is that the key to the success of Breaking Bad. Because they did it all the time. I mean, there was this one scene where they've got this storage shed and they've got pallets of.

00:23:56.700 --> 00:23:59.200
Drake 1: Cash pallets stacked.

00:23:59.200 --> 00:24:11.366
Drake: To the ceiling and you know, everyone else. You know, the other character that's with him is like, you've reached your goal. Great. This is awesome. And Walter's like, Screw that.

00:24:11.433 --> 00:24:16.366
Drake 1: No I want it all. Like, I don't want.

00:24:16.433 --> 00:24:41.466
Drake: Like. But you said you I think it was like, I don't know what it was been too long, but it was something like he needed $3 million or 7 million. He had worked out this thing, this altruistic thing. If I do this illegal stuff and make this much money for my family, then when I go to prison or when I die from cancer, it doesn't matter because now my family's taken care of and so he achieved that goal in like season two or season three, if I remember correctly.

00:24:41.533 --> 00:24:43.066
Drake: And then he's like.

00:24:43.133 --> 00:24:46.366
Drake 1: Yeah, I don't care, I don't care.

00:24:46.433 --> 00:25:10.733
Drake: And so you watched his mental slide down his degrade into this. And so yeah, it can go either way but that again but what is that that is tension point that is we've achieved what we wanted but we're now going to subvert that expectation and that's leads us into another one of our.

00:25:10.733 --> 00:25:41.000
Marie: Another way to increase tension. And that is what we call turn reversal or expectation of us. I'm expecting this thing, but instead something else happens. Now that could be like a like I'm expecting to succeed in this plan. And my plan fails. And that is kind of like a reversal, right? But it's more than just reversals because it can be anything.

00:25:41.200 --> 00:25:48.200
Marie: I'm expecting my aunt to arrive tomorrow, but she doesn't.

00:25:48.266 --> 00:25:49.533
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:25:49.600 --> 00:25:53.733
Marie: You know, why doesn't she? I don't know. Now I have to find people to figure out.

00:25:53.733 --> 00:26:02.466
Drake: I found out that the magic sword is in this cave. I go into this cave. Magic George. Not there yet. So anything like any of that is going to add to.

00:26:02.466 --> 00:26:04.466
Drake 1: That.

00:26:04.533 --> 00:26:29.333
Drake: Turn of extinction. And I don't like using the word reversals, and this is me. This is not you, but when I'm teaching, I teach a term called reversals and a reversal is the reversal of who is winning in the story. And so these are major moments where and I think you should do it because I usually have two or three reversals in every scene, but they're smaller reversals like, me and you are fighting and I'm totally winning.

00:26:29.333 --> 00:27:00.733
Drake: But then all of a sudden you get a lucky blow and now I'm fighting for my life. That's technically a reversal because that's a that's a switching of the of who's winning in the story. But you definitely want in a novel, you know, 8 to 12 major reversals where everything is flipped on its head. So like in Star Wars, a new hope is the one I was used for, for kind of the example of this when Luke Skywalker comes home with his new magic sword, he's winning, but then his uncles are dead and now he's losing.

00:27:00.800 --> 00:27:11.333
Drake: But then he finds you know, Han Solo and he gets a way to escape this trap that he's in. So now he's winning. And so these are all these.

00:27:11.400 --> 00:27:13.700
Drake 1: These reversals to the story.

00:27:13.766 --> 00:27:42.200
Drake: So I like to think of this. We're talking about more of a turn of expectations. So we're going to give an expectation to the reader this where the Magic Sword is on Auntie's going to call in and tell me something. My kid is doing better at the hospital and you know, that's what I'm expecting. And then the tension comes when that expectation doesn't happen the way we thought it was doesn't mean we always want to do that.

00:27:42.200 --> 00:28:06.166
Drake: Sometimes you want to be you want to set up an expectation and then let them achieve that expectation. Because again, stories are about balance. They're not about everything going one way or the other. If everything if I set up the expectation, my character and they get it every single time, that's a boring story. If I set up expectation and every time they do not get it, eventually readers like, Dude, you should just kill yourself.

00:28:06.266 --> 00:28:08.633
Drake 1: Like, this is a terrible life.

00:28:08.700 --> 00:28:20.166
Drake: I don't want to be a part of this anymore. Like got to allow for wins for the reader because the reader is, you know, the character's an extension of the reader. So when the character's losing, the reader's losing.

00:28:20.233 --> 00:28:20.766
Drake 1: And so.

00:28:21.000 --> 00:28:41.066
Drake: We want them to win some, you got to give them something. They just have to earn it, but they still have to get it. And then so really, that's what it is. To me, it's more of a turn of expectation that we're setting up the expectation again, we're talking about for the reader. Yes, the is expecting it, but that's really the reader.

00:28:41.066 --> 00:28:45.200
Drake: That's expecting it. And then we're just going to turn it on its head.

00:28:45.266 --> 00:29:07.733
Marie: Yep. And that's why you should only ever tell the reader the plan rather than showing them the plan. If the plan is going to go horrifyingly wrong, like if you have the whole planning session, you're like, We're going to do this and you go through the plan, then the plan must not be that. It must go wrong.

00:29:07.800 --> 00:29:18.600
Drake: Yeah, you know, that's a weird that's a rabbit chase, but that's a weird balancing act for me because I hate it when it's like I. Let's sit down. This is what we're going to do.

00:29:18.766 --> 00:29:21.200
Drake 1: We're going to do a we're going to do B.

00:29:21.266 --> 00:29:22.033
Drake: And it's going to lead to.

00:29:22.033 --> 00:29:23.166
Drake 1: C and.

00:29:23.166 --> 00:29:33.700
Drake: D is going to be outcome. And then we go do it. And obviously it's not going to happen that way. But then why did I waste all this time like reading all this stuff? But the flip side, that is, all right.

00:29:33.766 --> 00:29:37.066
Drake 1: I've got a plan end of scene.

00:29:37.133 --> 00:29:37.533
Drake: And it's like.

00:29:37.633 --> 00:29:39.333
Drake 1: But now I get.

00:29:39.333 --> 00:29:40.300
Drake: Nothing.

00:29:40.366 --> 00:29:43.800
Drake 1: So I get this weird. It's just I don't want to.

00:29:43.800 --> 00:29:50.633
Drake: Listen to a whole damn plan because I know it's not going to work, but I don't want to get nothing.

00:29:50.700 --> 00:29:54.800
Marie: Is it is a very it is a balancing act and a half that one.

00:29:55.033 --> 00:29:56.266
Drake 1: I think.

00:29:56.333 --> 00:30:20.666
Drake: It's something that I've always struggled with to make sure that I'm I'm given and again, this is me. This is a personal for me. But but I want to give enough in my story where I feel like, okay, all right, I know they have a plan because I've kind of seen some of it, but I don't want to waste time listening to somebody rattle off a plan that's not going to work.

00:30:20.666 --> 00:30:21.500
Drake: And I know it's not going to.

00:30:21.500 --> 00:30:22.300
Drake 1: Work.

00:30:22.366 --> 00:30:40.533
Drake: Like you have some of these heist movies where they'll literally film the heist going correctly. They'll film it now, they'll film the gangsters rolling up to the bank and running in and and all the guards getting down and then getting all the money and voting it up and then escaping through the tunnels and and then on a.

00:30:40.533 --> 00:30:41.200
Drake 1: Beach.

00:30:41.400 --> 00:30:46.466
Drake: Drinking, you know, champagne, and then go back to them in the room and be like, that's the plan.

00:30:46.533 --> 00:30:50.666
Drake 1: Like, you filmed the entire thing. That was a fantasy.

00:30:52.566 --> 00:30:54.066
Drake 1: Like, because none of.

00:30:54.066 --> 00:31:02.733
Drake: That's going to happen. We know that now because, like, if you then went and just did that, we're just different people from the fantasy.

00:31:02.800 --> 00:31:05.433
Drake 1: It would be a horrible movie.

00:31:05.500 --> 00:31:08.766
Drake: But so I'm like, That's too much.

00:31:09.000 --> 00:31:10.600
Drake 1: I don't want this.

00:31:10.666 --> 00:31:17.033
Drake: But I do want but I also don't want, you know, the whole but I got to plan end of scene.

00:31:17.100 --> 00:31:27.433
Marie: Yeah. The problem with I got a plan end of scene is you can do it you can do it That way a couple of times like like once or twice if it's really kind of natural.

00:31:27.500 --> 00:31:28.366
Drake: Right?

00:31:28.433 --> 00:31:31.533
Marie: But if you do it too much.

00:31:31.600 --> 00:31:33.066
Drake 1: Or if it's too big.

00:31:33.066 --> 00:31:34.000
Drake: Of a.

00:31:34.066 --> 00:31:55.600
Marie: Or if it's too big of a plan, like I read this book once where the the main character kept saying, I've got a plan, and then it would end, you know, it cut off or whatever. And she but apparently she didn't I know she didn't tell the other characters either. Whatever. Doesn't matter. The reader never got to know the plan. But it was like seven or eight scene breaks like that.

00:31:55.666 --> 00:32:34.466
Marie: I got to plan this plan, blah, blah, blah. And the problem is with that is it sets the reader expectations so high that unless you are throwing a net around the moon and yeeting it straight into the sun right. And that is somehow calling a causing a pinball effect it's going to break open the vault and of the vault is going to shoot Arthur Sword himself, which will hit the monster in the eye, because of the angle that the sun spot is at. Unless it’s a plan on that level.

00:32:34.500 --> 00:32:36.733
Marie: You're not going to meet my expectation.

00:32:36.800 --> 00:32:38.333
Drake 1: Right?

00:32:38.400 --> 00:32:55.100
Drake: I mean, that's why I said depends on and I that's if my God Godzilla's attacking you know Tokyo. What do you do. I got to plan that. But if it's like, like, my goodness, we just played in the river and my clothes are ripped. What are you going to tell Mom? Don't worry about it. I got a plan.

00:32:55.166 --> 00:32:56.066
Drake 1: Like.

00:32:56.133 --> 00:33:00.066
Drake: It really also depends on the situation, because, like.

00:33:00.066 --> 00:33:00.666
Marie: But that's why I say.

00:33:00.666 --> 00:33:01.600
Drake 1: That you can you.

00:33:01.600 --> 00:33:05.800
Marie: Can you can get away with it once or twice.

00:33:06.033 --> 00:33:09.733
Drake 1: And you can say, yeah, if it's smaller.

00:33:09.800 --> 00:33:14.633
Drake: Yeah, smaller deal. As opposed to, you know.

00:33:14.700 --> 00:33:30.066
Marie: This was literally the setup for the end fight, the final fight. And I was like, there no way that you are ever going to meet my expectations after telling me for eight scenes that you have plan ever.

00:33:30.133 --> 00:33:33.333
Drake 1: Yeah yeah.

00:33:33.400 --> 00:33:52.766
Drake: Yeah. So you look at Star Wars Star Wars. A new hope is a is a kind of a good, I think, balance of that where it's like, you know, we we know that the rebel force has the has the plans. We actually saw them looking at it and going, there's actually a weakness in this thing. And then Luke Skywalker is out on the deck and you know, he's talking Han Solo.

00:33:52.766 --> 00:33:54.366
Drake: He's like, You're not coming with us. And he's like, No.

00:33:54.400 --> 00:33:55.366
Drake 1: Yet.

00:33:55.400 --> 00:34:00.700
Drake: You are all going to die. I'm not going with you. I will take my money. And I'm like.

00:34:00.766 --> 00:34:02.733
Drake 1: We know we didn't.

00:34:02.800 --> 00:34:16.500
Drake: We didn't sit there in that in that boardroom and have them go, okay, so how are we going to do this? All right, Red squadron, we're going to be led by this is going to go and they're going to do this and then you guys are going to do this and then you know this. Guys are going to do this and this is going to be the support part.

00:34:16.666 --> 00:34:37.766
Drake: We don't get all of that. We get just enough to know that they found a weakness and they're going to exploit that weakness. And that's really good enough. That's that's all we really need. We don't need to know how these squadrons are going to be divided in which angles they're coming in on and and what their, you know, primary objective is, their secondary objectives are, and so on and so forth.

00:34:38.000 --> 00:34:46.100
Drake: That would be insanely silly in a sci fi movie, you know, a war movie maybe. But then again, you're the.

00:34:46.100 --> 00:34:49.133
Drake 1: Only war movie for a different reason.

00:34:49.200 --> 00:35:20.066
Marie: When I when I write battle planning scenes, which I do, because I've got a big war going on in Sangwheel Chronicles right now, I write battle planning scenes. I will give the overall objectives like what the going to do this, the Special forces are going to do this. That's the goals. And then I will cut to a scene, break with, you know, something obviously not this blatant, but something like they spent the next hour discussing the plans and then Ultron transition using something like that because the reader doesn't need the detail.

00:35:20.133 --> 00:35:21.800
Marie: They need the goal.

00:35:22.033 --> 00:35:29.566
Drake: Especially considering the details aren't going to work anyway, because whatever you say on the details has to fail because otherwise it would be boring. I'd be reading it twice.

00:35:29.633 --> 00:35:31.033
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:35:31.100 --> 00:35:37.533
Drake: So yeah. And again, that's a this isn't into attention so much. So we just took a kind of a rabbit.

00:35:37.600 --> 00:35:38.333
Marie: A rabbit.

00:35:38.333 --> 00:35:39.766
Drake 1: Hole, but you know, we would never.

00:35:39.766 --> 00:35:43.766
Drake: Work this in like where do you work in how much of a plan to give and how much not to you.

00:35:44.000 --> 00:36:14.400
Marie: Well, it does, it does actually contribute to tension because if you give too much of the plan and you then execute the plan perfectly, there is literally zero tension because you've just lost it all by telling the reader exactly what's going to happen. Yeah. So if you tell the reader exactly what's going to happen, the plan must fail, which also reduces your tension because by now most readers know that they're like, if you tell me the exact plan, that means the plan is going to fail like, yeah.

00:36:14.466 --> 00:36:15.533
Drake: Exactly.

00:36:15.600 --> 00:36:16.033
Drake 1: So yeah.

00:36:16.033 --> 00:36:18.633
Drake: I guess it does tie in closer than I. Then I would say I.

00:36:18.633 --> 00:36:26.666
Marie: Would say it's a tension drainer and you need to be cognizant of draining tension by giving too much information to the reader.

00:36:26.766 --> 00:36:30.300
Drake: Actually, that's funny. We didn't actually come up with any things.

00:36:30.366 --> 00:36:31.733
Drake 1: That were.

00:36:31.800 --> 00:37:02.500
Drake: Things that take tension away from I mean, obviously not doing the stuff we're talking about. You just have one emotion as opposed to a competing emotion that's going to not be as tension filled because there's just nothing for the two opposing forces do to kind of go against. But it's also why I think I think the borrowing tension from the future is an anti tension.

00:37:02.566 --> 00:37:26.400
Drake: Exactly. It doesn't do what and it's the thing that pisses me off the most. You hate flashbacks. I hate flash forwards more than anything else. So yeah, I mean, it's that whole, you know, the story opens up and the person walks in and the hero walks in and bad guy shoots him in the chest, and then it's 12 hours earlier, like, I know the hero.

00:37:26.400 --> 00:37:29.533
Drake 1: Gets shot in the chest. I know this.

00:37:29.600 --> 00:37:39.733
Drake: So you're taking the tension where I'm like, if I didn't know that, if I didn't know the hero got shot in the chest, then as we're coming up to that moment, I'm going, my goodness.

00:37:39.800 --> 00:37:41.600
Drake 1: Is he going to get shot or how is he going to get out?

00:37:41.600 --> 00:37:42.566
Drake: And but that's.

00:37:42.566 --> 00:37:43.466
Drake 1: Gone.

00:37:43.533 --> 00:37:44.733
Drake: That's gone.

00:37:44.800 --> 00:37:46.333
Drake 1: It's like, no, he got shot.

00:37:46.466 --> 00:37:55.066
Drake: He opens that door. There's the door. I remember the door from the beginning movie. It was only, you know, 90 minutes ago, I don't have that bad of a memory. He's going to open the door and get shot. There it.

00:37:55.066 --> 00:37:55.700
Drake 1: Is.

00:37:55.766 --> 00:37:57.266
Drake: As opposed to.

00:37:57.333 --> 00:37:58.033
Drake 1: my God.

00:37:58.100 --> 00:38:01.166
Drake: When you open that door, I know the other guy's on the other side.

00:38:01.233 --> 00:38:02.800
Drake 1: Like, see our problem?

00:38:03.066 --> 00:38:08.600
Marie: Our problem with flash, with your problem with flash forward. And my problem with flashback is, in fact, the same problem.

00:38:08.666 --> 00:38:09.800
Drake 1: Yep.

00:38:10.033 --> 00:38:52.066
Marie: It is that you know what's going to happen. What the author or the movie or whatever is giving you is the how. What's going to happen and how it's going to happen is never going to be as tension filled as what's going to happen in. My opinion granted, it's my opinion. There are plenty of people who love flash forwards, good for them, or flashbacks or whatever, but in my opinion, there will never be as much tension in figuring out how a thing that you know is going to happen is going to happen as isn't going like what's going to happen.

00:38:52.133 --> 00:38:53.066
Drake 1: Yep.

00:38:53.133 --> 00:39:12.566
Drake: And you actually just hit the problem on the head. The writer likes that. They're doing a flashback, the writer likes that they're doing a flash forward. The writer thinks the concept is cool, nothing else like it is straight and solely the writer's.

00:39:12.566 --> 00:39:14.100
Drake 1: Hubris.

00:39:14.166 --> 00:39:19.700
Drake: That brings that in and nothing more. So it's it's one of my Drake isms there.

00:39:19.766 --> 00:39:26.766
Marie: The writer thinks the reader cares about his character enough to sit through a flashback.

00:39:26.800 --> 00:39:28.000
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:39:28.066 --> 00:39:41.166
Drake: But it's like it's one of my Drake isms that I always talk about. It's not the how and the what, it's the why and the effect that the reader is going to be connected to. It's not how do they open the door and what do they do when they go into the room?

00:39:41.200 --> 00:39:42.333
Drake 1: You have to write that.

00:39:42.500 --> 00:40:01.000
Drake: That has to be there. You always have to write the how in the what. You can't get away. Because if we don't know the how and the what, we're lost. But that is not the story. That is just the foundation for the story. It has to be there to build the house upon. You can't build the house without the foundation.

00:40:01.066 --> 00:40:23.766
Drake: But why is the person opening the door? What effect does it have on that person when go into the room? That's what the reader cares about. That's what the reader is going to get from it. So when you do a flash forward, we get the what's going to happen and then we go back and we learn how it happened, but we know where it's going.

00:40:23.800 --> 00:40:32.233
Drake: So it's never going to have the level of tension. The same thing with a flashback. It's never going to have the same amount of tension built into it as if you just let me.

00:40:32.233 --> 00:40:33.166
Drake 1: Live it.

00:40:33.233 --> 00:40:35.733
Drake: In the moment.

00:40:35.800 --> 00:41:00.800
Marie: Yeah, 100%. And this, I feel, is is something that people need to understand about tension. If I know the outcome of the event, it will. Unless there is something really dramatic about it, I it is going to feel more of a plot than if I don't know the yeah.

00:41:01.033 --> 00:41:02.333
Drake 1: Always. Yeah.

00:41:02.400 --> 00:41:10.733
Drake: I wish as much as you wish. The flashback in the opening would die. I wish the flash forward but that.

00:41:10.800 --> 00:41:13.633
Marie: I am with you. Flash forwards need to die.

00:41:13.800 --> 00:41:16.433
Drake 1: I do not.

00:41:16.433 --> 00:41:19.233
Drake: Work. They will never work. They have never.

00:41:19.233 --> 00:41:23.433
Drake 1: Worked. Like if if you try to.

00:41:23.500 --> 00:41:28.566
Marie: Die on this hill. Yeah. No book needs to open with a flash forward.

00:41:28.633 --> 00:41:29.566
Drake 1: Every show.

00:41:29.666 --> 00:41:30.633
Drake: Movie or.

00:41:30.633 --> 00:41:32.766
Drake 1: TV show every.

00:41:32.766 --> 00:41:35.100
Drake: Single time is.

00:41:35.300 --> 00:41:36.433
Drake 1: A.

00:41:36.500 --> 00:41:42.733
Drake: Negative. It is never a positive.

00:41:43.000 --> 00:42:08.133
Marie: So we have a question. We have a question from one of the people who can view our podcast. If you're interested in viewing our podcast, join the writers room for free and you can be part of our Zoom experience. And the question is, so flash forward and back interrupts the experience of consuming the theme. No, a flash forward or flash back interrupts the experience of consuming the story.

00:42:08.200 --> 00:42:40.233
Marie: Because instead of being in the now of the story, I, the reader or the viewer, I'm jumped either forward and back or back into time. But what I'm invested in, if you as the writer have done your job property, what I'm invested in is the character in the now, the character who is currently struggling with their internal conflict, the character who is going through their growth or who is acting against the plot, who is the protagonist as they are now.

00:42:40.300 --> 00:43:03.400
Marie: But now, instead of giving me more of the story I'm invested in, you either jump backward and give me some past detail that I might or might not need, or you jump forward and you then it's even worse if you jump forward, actually, in some ways, because then you invest me in the character as they will then. And then you come back and take me all the way back.

00:43:03.400 --> 00:43:08.133
Marie: That like it? Yeah, it drives me crazy.

00:43:08.200 --> 00:43:15.133
Drake: I can see this is the difference between this is a contention point. You want to talk about adding some tension? This is the tension point between me and you with flashbacks.

00:43:15.200 --> 00:43:16.633
Drake 1: Is.

00:43:16.700 --> 00:43:26.433
Drake: You just hit the nail on the head. It's the the interruption of the story. So in my opening chapter of Genesis saga, I have.

00:43:26.433 --> 00:43:32.500
Drake 1: A four or five page flashback.

00:43:32.566 --> 00:43:34.533
Drake: But it happens in the characters.

00:43:34.633 --> 00:43:37.266
Drake 1: Now he.

00:43:37.333 --> 00:43:38.666
Drake: Is mentally taken.

00:43:38.666 --> 00:43:40.533
Drake 1: Over, so he is.

00:43:40.533 --> 00:43:49.300
Drake: In the now as somebody is yanking memories out of his mind and he now is watching these memories from the.

00:43:49.300 --> 00:43:50.133
Drake 1: Past.

00:43:50.200 --> 00:44:02.533
Marie: 100%. But you have just put your finger on it because yes, we see the characters past, but we are in the head of the character in the present experience.

00:44:02.600 --> 00:44:06.400
Drake 1: And you're getting his now reaction. Yes, we're getting.

00:44:06.400 --> 00:44:23.466
Marie: His now. So it is still moving the story forward even though we're getting the past events. Yes, it is not the same as a flashback of like taking the character back to ten years ago or whatever, to relive a moment as the character was then.

00:44:23.533 --> 00:44:37.500
Drake: And that's why I think that even though it's this huge flashback in my opening chapter, no one not only is no one negatively impacted by it, they get to connect with the character, the current character feeling emotions.

00:44:37.500 --> 00:44:40.133
Drake 1: About his past.

00:44:40.200 --> 00:44:51.200
Drake: And so it connects them deeper to it. So again, it's not necessarily the flash back, it's the fact that I never leave the now.

00:44:51.266 --> 00:44:54.100
Drake 1: Yes, I'm still in the now you're still.

00:44:54.100 --> 00:44:58.666
Drake: In the head of the character of the now you're not even that's why in that thing.

00:44:58.733 --> 00:45:23.333
Marie: So when you know when I did the Simon sang Will right when I needed to explore the past I set up a car and a mechanic where the characters experience events the past as they are now. And it's part of the plot. Yes, because that allows the reader to experience the character's emotions, their past.

00:45:23.400 --> 00:45:44.500
Drake: And you just said something else that expands upon this because both of us did this. And I just just realized this The mechanic that we created actually affects the future of the story. So yours, I'm not going to give it away, but yours is integral to what's going on. It's it's a mechanic that's used to it. And then same thing with mine, you know, mine.

00:45:44.566 --> 00:45:45.133
Drake 1: That.

00:45:45.300 --> 00:45:46.133
Drake: Instance.

00:45:46.133 --> 00:45:47.433
Drake 1: Affects.

00:45:47.500 --> 00:46:02.666
Drake: Not only does it affect the character directly, but the fact that it could happen has ramifications later in the story, even books later in the story. So, yeah, it's it's more than just a flashback.

00:46:02.666 --> 00:46:24.433
Marie: It's it's the pure flashbacks are literally just there to info dump the character's backstory on you. And there is no conflict there. There is not there is not a hint worth of tension there. There is nothing there because I know where the character is now.

00:46:24.500 --> 00:46:25.633
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:46:25.700 --> 00:46:28.766
Drake: Like, no, no, there's a lot of tension because they're fighting for their life.

00:46:29.000 --> 00:46:30.600
Drake 1: Yeah, but. But they lived.

00:46:30.666 --> 00:46:34.566
Marie: I know they live because I've just.

00:46:34.633 --> 00:46:35.300
Drake 1: I don't have.

00:46:35.300 --> 00:46:40.533
Drake: Any concern that they're going. It's like when CONAN gets into a death defying situation, I'm never bite my nails going.

00:46:40.666 --> 00:46:43.366
Drake 1: Is going and going to live. Just going.

00:46:43.433 --> 00:46:44.300
Drake: How does Conan.

00:46:44.300 --> 00:46:47.233
Drake 1: Live this like? I know he does because his name.

00:46:47.233 --> 00:47:06.000
Drake: Is on the cover. They don't kill Conan. That's why when Marvel re, re I'm a huge Conan fan, so I have everything going on. So when Marvel did repurchase the Conan license and they only did it for like a year, which pissed me off, but the very first series of comic books they came out with was.

00:47:06.200 --> 00:47:17.400
Drake 1: The Death of Conan. And I'm like, You're so stupid. And they do technically kill him in that. Yes. Yeah, whatever.

00:47:17.400 --> 00:47:21.500
Marie: We all know comic book characters don't die like that.

00:47:21.566 --> 00:47:23.700
Drake: But talk about hyperbole when you're.

00:47:23.766 --> 00:47:29.400
Drake 1: You know, like we're coming out with a New Canaan series and the first one is called The Death of Conan.

00:47:29.400 --> 00:47:32.200
Drake: No. No.

00:47:32.266 --> 00:47:37.666
Marie: It's like saying the death of Superman. Yeah, right, Cupcake.

00:47:37.733 --> 00:47:40.033
Drake: How many times we buried that tapeworm.

00:47:40.200 --> 00:47:43.233
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:47:43.300 --> 00:48:06.800
Drake: So, yeah, I mean, and that really is it. It's not the flashback itself. It's how you use the flashback. And it's the same thing with, with the Prolog. You know, I like to make the joke of, you know, how do I know if I've written my Prolog correctly? Not. And I would say, is it titled Prolog? Yeah, then you've written it wrong.

00:48:07.033 --> 00:48:17.066
Marie: So there we, we actually do have a conflict because I do feel that that that a Prolog can massively add to a story.

00:48:17.200 --> 00:48:17.566
Drake 1: It can.

00:48:17.566 --> 00:48:20.433
Drake: We're 100% agreeing on that. The problem is that it almost never is.

00:48:20.433 --> 00:48:22.100
Drake 1: Sure.

00:48:22.100 --> 00:48:36.400
Marie: But I think I think that that is simply because people treat a Prolog as sometimes they treat it as like a chapter 1, 16 years before or something like that. No, just make that chapter one.

00:48:36.466 --> 00:48:36.666
Drake 1: Right?

00:48:36.666 --> 00:49:08.033
Marie: A prolog ideally should set up something the conflict of the saga overall because and if you do that, then you know it it contributes to the story. But you also don't want to do what Robert Jordan did, which was set up the conflict of the saga perfectly. But the reader doesn't know that until book three Yeah, So you wanted to be a little bit more immediate than that, little bit more tied into the events.

00:49:08.100 --> 00:49:08.433
Drake 1: I mean.

00:49:08.500 --> 00:49:33.333
Drake: For this rewrite of Genesis. So I think I wrote an amazing Prolog and in it sat there as the beginning of the book for the for about a year. And then I cut it because even though I think it sets up the whole thing really well, it still doesn't matter to the reader. It's still, I think modern readers, modern people that are consuming stories.

00:49:33.333 --> 00:49:56.133
Drake: This includes movies or whatever they want to connect to the character in the now. They want to stay with that character in the now. So even though my Prolog starts off 5000 years ago and it does this pivotal event that you're going that impacts that you're about to read, it's got Jacka all to do with connecting you to the characters of the now.

00:49:56.200 --> 00:50:25.266
Marie: So what the reason why I left my Prolog is because my Prolog doesn't just set up the conflict of the series, but it is also the opening move of the villain and the Prolog character dies at the end of the Prolog. It's so, but it is immediately referenced in chapter one with why that is there. Like what's just what has been the effect of the.

00:50:25.333 --> 00:50:31.733
Drake: And that's why I think yours works better than than what I had planned because might have been 1500 years ago.

00:50:32.100 --> 00:50:35.366
Marie: Yes it's like the Robert Jordan one. It's it's too big.

00:50:35.400 --> 00:51:00.766
Drake: It's too big. It's too removed. Yeah. When when Solomon the Dragon. Lewis Starman, I think, was his name. Like, we don't get it. We don't get the reference, we don't get how it ties in. And then we're at this farm boy, and we're on a road, and then there's these, you know, troll like attacks and we're run in and, and then, yeah, it isn't until book three.

00:51:01.000 --> 00:51:05.500
Drake: And I still remember that because I remember when it came in and I was like, I feel like I know something about this.

00:51:05.700 --> 00:51:07.400
Drake 1: I don't know. I don't remember what I.

00:51:07.400 --> 00:51:16.400
Drake: Feel like I know. And then I had to go digging for it. And that's when I realized and that's when I read the Prolog of book one a second time. And it was like,

00:51:17.100 --> 00:51:20.000
Drake: This stuff matters. And it makes perfect sense.

00:51:20.066 --> 00:51:44.433
Marie: So that kind of Prolog I feel, doesn't add anything because I feel like that gives the reader information that might be important, but it gives them to do it way too soon. The reader doesn't care about anything, but if your prolog can set up immediate immediate conflict while also hinting at the larger saga, then I feel like it does a good job in its prolog.

00:51:44.500 --> 00:51:53.133
Marie: But I mean there's room for disagreement. I do also know for a fact that there are readers who absolutely just skip the Prolog.

00:51:53.200 --> 00:51:53.733
Drake 1: yes.

00:51:53.800 --> 00:52:06.200
Marie: So that is the other thing to be aware of is don't put anything so critical in your prolog that the reader needs it because they are quite likely to just page right over it.

00:52:06.266 --> 00:52:17.200
Drake: Don't even read the Prolog, they just part of it. But I feel the same thing about the Storm Light chronicles from Sanderson that Prolog I don't feel like I've need it.

00:52:17.266 --> 00:52:28.366
Marie: So I'll be honest like that. Prolog really might be quite the book because it reads like a video game instruction manual to how to use the magic.

00:52:28.433 --> 00:52:30.033
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:52:30.100 --> 00:52:47.700
Marie: That's what it reads like. And I'm like, My guy, I love your world. I, I truly, I have nothing but admiration for your worldbuilding, for your magics and for all of those things. But I did not need to play through a video game tutorial to consume your epic fantasy

00:52:47.700 --> 00:52:53.133
Drake 1: saga, right now, I mean.

00:52:53.200 --> 00:53:03.233
Drake: On the same note as Wheel of Time, it sets up this massive thing, but not until it doesn't matter to me yet.

00:53:03.300 --> 00:53:04.133
Marie: Exactly.

00:53:04.233 --> 00:53:06.166
Drake 1: And that's the thing.

00:53:06.233 --> 00:53:23.000
Marie: That's the thing you give the reader the information they need when they need it. Not three books before, especially when you are releasing one book a year or one book every two years. I mean, come on Ain't No One going to remember that.

00:53:23.066 --> 00:53:24.100
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:53:24.166 --> 00:53:32.133
Drake: That's what that's the problem with it. And that's a good to tie it into this. It's a good way of reducing tension just sucking the tension out of it.

00:53:32.200 --> 00:53:34.066
Marie: It's a great way of reducing tension.

00:53:34.200 --> 00:53:36.033
Drake 1: Well, you're giving the reader.

00:53:36.100 --> 00:54:00.100
Marie: Yeah. Giving the reader information. They don't need is a great way to suck the tension straight out of a story. And that applies to names as well. By the way, naming like 50 million black minor characters, all you're doing is giving the reader too many names to remember and sucking the tension straight out of the story.

00:54:00.166 --> 00:54:00.733
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:54:00.733 --> 00:54:03.166
Drake: All right. We've got a couple more things on our list.

00:54:03.266 --> 00:54:09.233
Drake: So the question I would have would be why?

00:54:09.300 --> 00:54:10.700
Drake 1: What does having a.

00:54:10.766 --> 00:54:23.566
Drake: Character that brings uncomfortable things, the story or having a situation that's uncomfortable, how does that add tension? How does that help the story?

00:54:23.633 --> 00:55:03.333
Marie: So if you put the reader into an uncomfortable position, then it adds tension as the readers internal like emotions and thoughts and feelings conflict with the position that the story is putting them in. Okay, so an example would be if the character has always acted a certain way, the character has always been a chill, cool, calm person, and then suddenly they react with a white hot rage, like all kinds of emotion coming out to the reader.

00:55:03.333 --> 00:55:24.633
Marie: This is a shocking thing. And they want to know why. Because they have an expected emotion from the character and now they are put in an uncomfortable position of experiencing this character and acting contrary to the nature that they have been trying to expect.

00:55:24.700 --> 00:55:51.500
Drake: Yeah, there's a there's a type of comedy that my oldest can't even watch. It's called anxiety comedy Workaholics. I love that show, but it's literally just anxiety comedy. It's it's these people are in a day job and they do the dumbest stuff that you 100% know is going to get them fired. And so you're just constantly like.

00:55:51.566 --> 00:55:53.233
Drake 1: What are you doing?

00:55:53.300 --> 00:56:10.366
Drake: You know, the whole time. It's just it's just nothing but anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety. And some people just cannot watch that level of stuff. But it is I mean, you know, hey, we the boss wants us to work a double shifts. You know, what we're going to do? Normally, we get stoned at night and she's taking that from us.

00:56:10.366 --> 00:56:30.233
Drake: So let's actually just bring a little personal tent and we'll just put it in our cubicle and we'll smoke our weed in there. Even though we're not allowed to like, you're like, okay, so you're going to get fire or there was an that wasn't an episode, but there was an episode of, they're going to drug test all of us.

00:56:30.300 --> 00:56:53.166
Drake: So how do we work it out to where we use someone else's urine? How do we get this worked out? Because they want to actually be in the restroom us while we're doing this. And so they come up with this elaborate scheme that is just completely illegal. And so the whole time, you know, that's the whole thing. It's all anxiety, It's all just.

00:56:53.233 --> 00:56:53.433
Drake 1: You.

00:56:53.433 --> 00:57:09.366
Drake: Guys are the dumbest characters and you come up with the dumbest plans to solve your your problems. And then is it going to turn out without you being fired? And that's really what Workaholics is all about. That's the whole show.

00:57:09.433 --> 00:57:12.133
Drake 1: So Yeah.

00:57:12.200 --> 00:57:33.333
Marie: We've got another comment that says Or a trigger scene. Yeah, like a scene that triggers something that puts the reader into an uncomfortable position. Also a scene where the social contract is broken, whether that is the social contract in the book or the reader's social contract, either one can put the reader an uncomfortable position and that can make the reader think.

00:57:33.333 --> 00:57:44.600
Marie: And that conflict between the reader's like expectation of behavior and actual behavior they see it generates tension.

00:57:44.666 --> 00:57:45.633
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:57:45.700 --> 00:58:04.200
Drake: Yeah. I'm in a public toilet. I'm sitting there doing my business. All of a sudden the door opens out, someone walks in and then closes it behind them and just stands there with their back against it. And you're like, I don't. Don't mind me. This has nothing do with you. Don't mind me. It's like it has something to do with me.

00:58:04.266 --> 00:58:04.633
Drake 1: Yeah.

00:58:04.700 --> 00:58:08.066
Marie: I'm. I'm here. Like, this is a problem.

00:58:08.133 --> 00:58:26.700
Drake: So it's just this. It's a social construct. You don't walk into somebody when they're in a public bathroom. When you're a stranger, you don't do that. And so now the audience is like, what's going on here? Like, obviously this is not normal and, you know, the person is not the person that comes in. I'm not saying this doing anything to the person.

00:58:26.700 --> 00:58:44.166
Drake: And now it's obvious that they're running from something, hiding for something, whatever. They're literally not there to mess with the person that, you know, our main character who's there. But still, that's an incredibly uncomfortable situation. And so that adds a lot of tension to the.

00:58:44.233 --> 00:58:45.066
Drake 1: Scene.

00:58:45.166 --> 00:59:02.033
Drake: That's going on. So Yeah, these are the uncomfortability, is it? And the only other thing I had on my list, I well, there's actually a couple of other things, but I don't know if we're going to get to them. And this is something I brought up when we were discussing this that I think a lot of people miss.

00:59:02.033 --> 00:59:25.033
Drake: And it's just the desire, the the this this builds down to understanding what the character wants, what is their motivation? What are their what is their desire, what are they trying to achieve? And obviously Lee, this becomes very apparent with the, you know, I just learned that my child was kidnaped. My desire is to save my child.

00:59:25.100 --> 00:59:41.333
Drake: I'm not talking about that literally about kind of going back to the Bob thing, just knowing that Bob really wants the job because a lot of people will miss that. They'll go, Well, isn't it obvious they're going for an interview, like they'll just write Bob going for an interview, but they won't.

00:59:41.333 --> 00:59:42.800
Drake 1: Write that he really.

00:59:42.800 --> 00:59:52.000
Drake: Wants this job. They'll just write that he's going for an interview and they'll just say, Well, it's obvious. No, it's obvious to you.

00:59:52.066 --> 01:00:05.033
Marie: And it's it's one of the the things that we discussed way back on that malant chapter of yours, your your your magic teaching chapter, because your purpose for the chapter was to teach the reader magic.

01:00:05.100 --> 01:00:08.033
Drake 1: Which you did. And I got into that.

01:00:08.100 --> 01:00:08.633
Marie: Yeah, you're.

01:00:08.633 --> 01:00:09.800
Drake: Blinded by it.

01:00:10.033 --> 01:00:21.266
Marie: Yeah. And but the tension that was added in the end was just that Mahlon really wants. And he's not getting it while doing his magic. That's it.

01:00:21.333 --> 01:00:41.366
Drake: Right? Yeah. That's not a it's not an action scene. It's not a nothing goes wrong. Nothing. Matter of fact, in that scene, he gets what he wants. Yeah, right. So he wants to get this one teacher to finally sign off that he can go to this other school. They can advanced this other place. We get that desire right up front.

01:00:41.366 --> 01:01:01.166
Drake: Hey, I want you know, you're the last holdout. That's what I really added at the very beginning. It's like all my other teachers have signed off. Why hasn't this jerk signed off? Why is he putting me through all these hoops? I do not understand. Now there's a payoff for it. And the payoff was already there. You know, at the end of it, you learn that the reason why this teacher is holding out is because he actually likes him a lot.

01:01:01.166 --> 01:01:13.066
Drake: And the last two students have gone to this other school, have come back dead. And he doesn't want that to happen to Malant he likes Malant. And so that's but that creates that tension. And and he's like, I don't understand.

01:01:13.066 --> 01:01:14.166
Drake 1: This is my favorite teacher.

01:01:14.333 --> 01:01:31.733
Drake: Why is he stonewalling me? Why is he not, you know letting us. So that was that's where you get that's why I say you need alpha readers and beta readers, because even as a good of a storytellers, I feel I am I still just kind of became blind. I was like, you know, I'm going to teach the reader magic.

01:01:31.733 --> 01:01:49.333
Drake: And, you know, that's what the scene is for. And I'm going to put a little bit of thing at the end where you find out that, you know, the last two students that have gone to this training facility have died. And so that adds a ton of tension to the scene at the end. But going through the scene there just wasn't that that tension.

01:01:49.333 --> 01:02:08.633
Drake: So by just adding in that the teacher because I didn't have that, I didn't I didn't really have that everyone else had signed off because it wasn't important. It was just, you know, I never even thought about it. So I just added the element of all the other teachers have already approved this transfer. He, you know, and this is the last one.

01:02:09.000 --> 01:02:43.733
Drake: And just by adding that one thing now as you go through it, there's a lot more tension through it. And so even though the chapter is primarily an information chapter, you learn about magic, you learn a lot about the world you know, you learn it really is the first time because Chapter four but it's the first time where I expand how big the world is and all the different elements are quite a few of the elements, some stuff that are going on in it, that layer of tension just really, really, really enhances the scene and it makes it so much more for the reader.

01:02:43.800 --> 01:02:45.333
Drake: Yeah, not that anyone complained about it.

01:02:45.333 --> 01:02:48.800
Drake 1: Before, but.

01:02:49.033 --> 01:03:15.400
Marie: But it's it's like it does it does make a difference to people staying engaged. The book you know and this is the reason I think we should also talk about why you need to add tension. A reader who has no tension in a chapter reaches the middle of the chapter and maybe they're like, I'm going to go watch an Ozark or whatever.

01:03:15.400 --> 01:03:39.400
Marie: And they put the book down and they go watch it. And if there's nothing in the back of their mind saying, I wonder how this conflict, turns out they might not pick the book up again. They might pick to put the book down, to go to bed. And when tomorrow night, when they have time again, they watch something or they read something else.

01:03:39.433 --> 01:03:40.500
Drake 1: Yeah.

01:03:40.566 --> 01:03:45.466
Drake: And 100% of people who do not finish your book. Do not buy your next book.

01:03:45.533 --> 01:03:51.400
Marie: Yes. And do not give you a review and do not anything like you've just lost that reader.

01:03:51.466 --> 01:03:52.400
Drake: Yep.

01:03:52.466 --> 01:04:16.533
Marie: So that is why tension is important. Now, should you add tension to every single page like massive conflict? No. You want up and down like I don't think you should add massive conflict every single page, but every chapter, at least every chapter or every needs tension and conflict to pull the reader through.

01:04:16.600 --> 01:04:17.266
Drake 1: But I think that's.

01:04:17.266 --> 01:04:43.000
Drake: What we're discussing here. You can add tension to every page. You just add different types of tension, different levels of tension. Sometimes the tension is kind of bumping against each other. Sometimes it's head on collisions. It's but I think you can and so like to to to continue to pound on you know my mistake with them a lot chapter that chapter was incredibly interesting and no one put the chapter down.

01:04:43.066 --> 01:05:12.633
Drake: Everyone read it and everyone was interested by the events that happened through it, but no one was compelled. They never had a will. This won't this. It's just a that's really interesting information. that grows the world here because that by chapter four, I've earned their loyalty. I have they're invested in the story and so it's a new character and they're like, okay, it's a you know, here's the third character I'm learning, so let me learn about this third character.

01:05:12.700 --> 01:05:37.766
Drake: But but they're already hooked in the other characters lives. And so before that, the added conflict was added, that layer of tension that was threaded through it. It was a very interesting chapter, and I was fine with that because all over, my beta is like, I know it was a great chapter. I was really interested. I really loved learning about how the magic works.

01:05:37.766 --> 01:05:57.700
Drake: I love that you built the society bit more because they have the discussions and there is tension in their discussions because the teacher doesn't want to answer these questions. They're kind of taboo. You're kind of pushing the social norms. And so I do have those layers of tensions that we talked about. So there was nothing in it that would make a reader want to stop reading halfway through.

01:05:57.733 --> 01:06:15.600
Drake: You're going to read it to the end. So that's why I got complacent and it was like, Great, I'm fine. That until you came along and was like, Yeah, that and spines after. But here's what it needs. And it was like, Why couldn't I see that? Because all the elements were there, you know, there was already there to add those things.

01:06:15.666 --> 01:06:40.800
Drake: So that's really what you want to, to think about. And I think you can tension on every single page. I honestly do, even if it's just I have an internal emotion and I have another emotion internally that's that's either against it or slightly off of it or whatever. Even something as simple as that. You know, I'm I'm going for this job interview.

01:06:40.800 --> 01:06:53.666
Drake: I really, really want this job is exactly the job I want. But what if I don't get it? Because there's 300 people, there's 300 other people applying for it. I'm probably not as good as some of them.

01:06:53.733 --> 01:07:27.100
Marie: So one of our peanut gallery is asked, How do you find a sweet spot of not too much or not enough tension? I'm assuming you mean too much or not enough. So and this is going to sound a little weird, but you can have too much tension. And that is if you do not give the reader the chance to breathe. you can jam too much story in too much tension into a thing and leave the reader going.

01:07:27.100 --> 01:07:40.800
Marie: Actually, I'm just exhausted. I'm a put this down and give myself a break outside of the story because the story's not giving me a break and then they might not go back.

01:07:41.033 --> 01:07:43.100
Drake: And that's where you run into that danger.

01:07:43.166 --> 01:08:17.366
Marie: Yeah. So how do you find the sweet spot? I think that you you get better readers, too, to be honest with you, because it is hard as the author to find the sweet spot. And this is why we need better readers. Critics circle. You know what? You need other people to read your stuff and give you feedback before you publish because you need people to say, I couldn't breathe through the story, like I could never consume anything in detail because everything was at this breakneck pace.

01:08:17.433 --> 01:08:38.000
Marie: There was just too much going on, too much tension. I know, I read it, I enjoyed it, but it kind of plotted, you know, like I read one chapter a night or whatever. That's not ideal. Either You want people to read two or three chapters and be like, I had to put it down because I have go to work tomorrow.

01:08:38.166 --> 01:08:43.000
Marie: But I was like, super key. Yeah, that's what you want.

01:08:43.066 --> 01:08:43.700
Drake 1: Yeah.

01:08:43.766 --> 01:09:12.700
Drake: That's exactly what you want. This is another one of my drink isms where there's two one. I always say, I will never tell you that I'm a good writer because every person I've ever met that that talks about how good of a writer they are is usually a terrible writer. So I always just say, So I'll just tell you that other people think I'm a good writer, but it goes back to it goes down to one of my Drake isms.

01:09:13.066 --> 01:09:41.233
Drake: One of my Drake isms is you do not get to decide if your story is successful. You don't because you are blind to it. It is always successful. It can be the worst piece of garbage ever. But you think it's the best thing since sliced bread. You do not get that ability. The only people who get to decide if your story is good or.

01:09:41.233 --> 01:09:43.500
Drake 1: Not is.

01:09:43.566 --> 01:10:09.133
Drake: Strangers. Yeah, that's it. Other people. People don't care about you. Not your mom, not your spouse, not your friend, you know? And every time I say that, inevitably somebody go, no, no, no, I've got this person in my life and they're brutal on me. They're they may be, but they are as brutal as. They know you can take.

01:10:09.200 --> 01:10:29.666
Drake: Whereas a stranger, like when you come to the writers room with me, I mean, there's a reason why my stuff is called Drake's Brutal Writing Advice. I'm just brutal. I'm not mean, but I don't care. You came to me to see, to have me. Or when they come to your group, to have us point out your weaknesses in your story.

01:10:29.733 --> 01:11:03.600
Drake: So I'm going to do that. And I don't. I'm not there to make you. I don't I don't have a personal relationship with you. So, you know, our relationship is you come to us to have us tell you what we feel your weaknesses are so that you can improve upon them. That's what you need. And if you don't get that before you're published, if you don't have beta readers, if you don't, if you're not a part of a writer's group getting this feedback, if you don't, you know, join the writer's room, whatever you will 100% get it from Amazon reviewers.

01:11:03.666 --> 01:11:20.766
Drake: And the problem is, is that there are the difference is is when you come to the writer's room and you you know you bring your stuff to us. Yeah it's recorded for posterity and for training inside the writer's room but that's it like. No one finds out what you did wrong, what you did write or anything like that.

01:11:21.000 --> 01:11:40.400
Drake: It's just between, you know, you and me and the other people in the writers room trying to learn how to be better writers. When you have Amazon tell you when you have an Amazon customer say, This was the worst thing ever, the entire world gets to read that for the rest of eternity. Yep. And the whole world knows your shortcomings.

01:11:40.600 --> 01:11:43.166
Drake: And so you may think and I can't tell.

01:11:43.166 --> 01:11:45.066
Drake 1: You I got a.

01:11:45.133 --> 01:11:47.000
Drake: Plethora of stories of people. It's like.

01:11:47.200 --> 01:11:51.133
Drake 1: Yeah, I don't understand. I wrote this breathtakingly awesome book.

01:11:51.333 --> 01:11:52.066
Drake: And then I put.

01:11:52.066 --> 01:11:57.633
Drake 1: It up there and all I've got is one star reviews and everybody is just, just put on it.

01:11:57.700 --> 01:12:08.733
Drake: But it's and, and this is where you always know their maturity level as a creator, because the next thing is in this what Hollywood is doing constantly. But but I know.

01:12:09.066 --> 01:12:13.100
Drake 1: It's they're they're the idiot.

01:12:13.166 --> 01:12:37.000
Drake: You know so many times it's like back when self-publishing wasn't where it's at, when it was just coming out, I would have so many people say, Well, I'm going to self-publish my manuscript because. It's the best book that's ever been written. And yes, I've gotten 400 rejection letters from the industry, but it's only because they're an idiot. You know, those those people, they don't understand what they're doing.

01:12:37.066 --> 01:12:51.733
Drake: And I'm always like, okay, all right, that's possible. That is possible that that 400 people that have spent their lives doing an industry are dumb. And you who've never been in the industry know what you're talking about. That is possible.

01:12:51.800 --> 01:12:59.466
Drake 1: But perhaps and I know this is crazy, but perhaps maybe I know just just.

01:12:59.666 --> 01:13:03.066
Drake: I know it's fantasy, but I'm a fantasy writer, so let's just go with it.

01:13:03.133 --> 01:13:06.266
Drake 1: Perhaps. Maybe the 400 people.

01:13:06.266 --> 01:13:09.333
Drake: Who are in the industry as professionals and do this for a living.

01:13:09.400 --> 01:13:13.266
Drake 1: Might Actually, I know it's crazy, but they might actually.

01:13:13.266 --> 01:13:16.500
Drake: Know something more than. The one person who's never been in the industry.

01:13:16.566 --> 01:13:20.733
Marie: Yeah. Yeah. But yeah. So.

01:13:20.733 --> 01:13:39.200
Marie: So you absolutely need tension in your book, you need tension in your chapters and we've given you a couple of ways to do it. So just to close off it, you can add tension with your internal or emotional conflict to conflicting emotions inside the character warring with each other.

01:13:39.366 --> 01:13:41.700
Drake: And yeah, now let me because.

01:13:41.766 --> 01:13:42.100
Drake 1: The.

01:13:42.166 --> 01:14:01.800
Drake: Said is a little there is internal conflict or not, but this is not even talking about, this is like a baby step of that. This is just two emotions that are kind of opposed to each other. So there's internal conflict that is great tension. But what we're talking about is, is literally just this. I'm excited about this, but I'm also a little scared or whatever.

01:14:02.033 --> 01:14:31.333
Marie: Yep. Then you have the external stakes, which can also be used as additional stressors that increase the tension from the internal conflicting emotion. So this is where you have, for example, Katniss fearing the tribute to Katniss, the sister being chosen on the tribute that external event immediately ratchets up the tension. Then we have the next one.

01:14:31.400 --> 01:14:33.333
Drake 1: Rising Stakes.

01:14:33.400 --> 01:14:35.600
Drake: The Rising stakes.

01:14:35.666 --> 01:14:36.800
Marie: Yeah, go cover it.

01:14:37.033 --> 01:14:53.666
Drake: Okay, so you've got the external tension and then you can go to the next level. You must keep rising. Just keep racking up more, bigger, bader, Things happen. We talked about a turn of expectations if you want to.

01:14:53.733 --> 01:15:19.800
Marie: Yeah. So turn of expectations is where I expect this thing to happen. But instead this other thing happens. It doesn't necessarily have to be like a direct negative thing that happens, but it's not what I expect it. And then you can put the reader into an uncomfortable position either by breaking the social contract or by having the character act in a way that is different from how they normally act.

01:15:20.033 --> 01:15:20.566
Drake 1: And that to me.

01:15:20.733 --> 01:15:29.400
Drake: We didn't say this, but that can be a secondary character too. You can have a secondary character that does something out of what we've done,

01:15:29.400 --> 01:15:40.600
Drake: it really comes down to the reason why this is all this important reason why we put all this tension in here is we want the characters to earn the highs and to earn the highs, they have to get into the lows.

01:15:40.800 --> 01:15:51.666
Drake: And so that tension is where you're going to get that waffling up and down of the story. Keep the reader engaged and intention and and so on and so forth.

01:15:51.766 --> 01:16:09.500
Marie: Yeah. So tension gives you the highs and the lows. Tension is what makes your story works and what pulls your reader through the story. And I think that that is a good place in which to end this podcast. And we will see you soon for another one.

01:16:09.566 --> 01:16:10.500
Drake 1: Back.

01:16:10.500 --> 01:16:20.433
Drake 1: Good day to our esteemed listeners. I'm Marie Melanie and it has been a pleasure guiding you through the nuances of writing and worldbuilding.

01:16:20.433 --> 01:16:28.266
Drake 1: If our podcast has enriched your authorial journey in any way, please consider liking and subscribing.

01:16:28.266 --> 01:16:39.066
Drake 1: Sharing our content with your peers is a powerful way to support our mission and ensure we continue to deliver insightful and valuable episodes.

01:16:39.066 --> 01:16:43.266
Drake 1: Your engagement is greatly appreciated.

01:16:43.266 --> 01:17:03.266
Drake 1: for a deeper understanding of the topics we've discussed. Head over to Justin Time Worlds on YouTube. It is a treasure trove where fantasy meets history and science. Every Tuesday, you'll find new videos that delve into the intricacies of worldbuilding,

01:17:03.266 --> 01:17:07.166
Drake 1: drawing from our rich real world history.

01:17:07.166 --> 01:17:11.666
Drake 1: Whether you're a writer, a role player, or just a fantasy enthusiast.

01:17:11.733 --> 01:17:18.233
Drake 1: Just in Time Worlds offers unique insights that will enrich your perspective.

01:17:18.233 --> 01:17:23.466
Drake 1: Check it out and join the journey of crafting incredible worlds

01:17:23.466 --> 01:17:36.766
Drake 1: if you are ready to take your writing to the next level and work with a group of highly motivated, dedicated writers who are all working to not only improve their writing, but improve your writing. Plus, you get to work with me on a weekly basis.

01:17:36.766 --> 01:17:53.233
Drake 1: Then I'll encourage you to check out This is a website that I have created that I really wish I had 30 years ago. It's everything a writer needs to become a better writer. Not only do we do weekly critique sessions, both from other members as well as me,

01:17:53.233 --> 01:17:57.800
Drake 1: we have daily writing sessions. I do want the classes Q&A as we have activities.

01:17:58.000 --> 01:18:06.800
Drake 1: I do all sorts of learning exercises such as I do a quarterly writing prompt contest and just tons and tons and tons of things.

01:18:06.800 --> 01:18:14.133
Drake 1: So if you're ready to get serious about your writing and you want to actually finish that novel and have a chance of it being published,

01:18:14.133 --> 01:18:17.200
Drake 1: then I encourage you to head on over to the writer's room and join me there.

01:18:17.200 --> 01:18:20.666
Drake 1: and is a special promotion for listeners of releasing your inner Dragon.

01:18:20.666 --> 01:18:31.200
Drake 1: I'll go one step more if you would like to get 50% off for three months. Reach out to me. There's a million ways you can do that. You can do it through,

01:18:31.266 --> 01:18:42.333
Drake 1: Any of my social media such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X, whatever. Reach out to me. Say that you would like to check out the writer's room for 50% off and I will send you a link that will allow you to do just that.

01:18:42.333 --> 01:18:47.533
Drake 1: So hopefully you're ready to start getting serious about writing and I'll see you in the writers room.

Internal Conflict
External Conflict
Raising the Stakes
Expectation Reversal
Tension Removers
Viewer Questions

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