Rising Action – Tension and Release, more Literature and Interpretation

24 June 2012, this blog is about writing in scenes.  I’ll leave up the parts of a novel because I think this is an important picture for any novelist.  I’m writing about the rising action.

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement

Tension and release is the method of development of the rising action.  There are obviously degrees of tension and release–let’s look at them.

How to create tension and release.  Let’s start a list, off the cuff:

1. Fear
2. Love
3. Sex
4. Hate
5. Hunger or thirst
6. Jealousy
7. Danger
8. Drunkenness
9. Pain and suffering
10. Injury
11. Loss
12. Abuse
13. Torture
14. Nature
15. Sickness
16. Gender confusion
17.  Disfigurement
18.  Time
19.  Secrets
20. …

This goes directly back to what I’ve written about studying to write historical fiction or science fiction.  If the reader interprets and the writer is passive, then there is no purpose is trying to be accurate or logical.  Many post modernists look at abstract styles such as the writing of James Joyce and agree.  I personally think James Joyce is crappy literature.  If you don’t believe me–read it.  James Joyce is one of those novelists who those who imagine they are educated don’t read, don’t quote (I personally like to quote KMRIA from Ulysses), and have no idea what is inside, but still try to imagine is great literature.

Great literature doesn’t intentionally hide its meaning.  Great literature is not difficult to enjoy.  Great literature is great because people want and like to read it–there is nothing a mother could like in James Joyce.  You are allowed to skip him.  Please pick up something else to read.  I assure you there are many other better writers.  In spite of this, James Joyce depended on symbols and metaphor to get his ideas across.  He depended too much on symbols and metaphor–in my mind.  So, to keep your writing strong–write first to entertain.

I’ll write more about symbols and time as a tension builder, tomorrow.  I also want to leave myself a note.  I was asked by one of my blog readers to explain how I decide what to tell and what not to tell in my writing.  I’ll try to keep this in mind as I touch on the rest of the tension building topics.

About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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