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20 July 2006 @ 12:01 am
Upping Emotional Tension  
A friend sent me a fun note on Supernatural tonight where it inserts the viewer's reacting to what's happening on the screen (see excerpt at bottom) which got me to thinking.

It helps to increase the sense of worry, or concern, or feeling of comfort in a story when the reader (or person watching an episode) knows what is happening before the character does.

I think it can lend itself to a stronger feeling in the story if we build in clues to help the reader anticipate what's coming. I know this may sound obvious, but I also know one thing a lot of my friends and I talk about, is wanting to have a stronger sense of h/c in our stories. A stronger sense of "ahhh!" or "uh-oh" without making the characters too over the top.

Maybe one solution is the foreshadowing. Be certain to build in some subtle hints to give the answer to the reader before the character in order to up the feeling.


~*~


Example - (Supernatural)

Sam comes out of the convenience store, to climb into his brother's car, only to find the Impala sitting there empty. The keys are in the ignition and the engine is running, door wide open, but there's no sign of his brother. Frowning, he looks around and sees a hint of something shiny gold with a black string in the gravel catching in the car's headlights. He bends to pick it up...

*

If you do it right, the reader should figure out the significance of this a second before Sam does. That it's Dean's amulet necklace, the one he never takes off.


~*~


Example - (Stargate)

After leaving a long boring budget meeting in the conference room Jack complains that he's just gotten out of the worst meeting ever. Ever! He's muttering irritably to all who will hear and yet as we watch we feel for him because we know what's coming.

Hammond is waiting for him at the end of the corridor and is about to tell Jack that Daniel and the team Daniel was lent to has just been reported lost and the coordinates to the gate address locked out as too dangerous.

So we watch Jack mutter irritably and feel for him because we know what's coming, rather than just feel in the moment when he finds out.


~***~

Anyway, just thinking.


PS This is a snippet of the original funny posting that got me on this track.


From SPN Overview (Commentary! With Caplocks!) - via LJ

...On the Monster of the Week

Haunted House: *is spooky*

Fandom: DON'T GO IN THERE!

Dean: Let's split up!

Fandom: NOOOOO!

Sam: Even though I have a very good degree and am brainy, I agree!

Fandom: YOU CANNOT DIE, BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY TWO CHARACTERS AND ONE
BROTHER TRAVELLING ACROSS THE COUNTRY, TALKING TO HIMSELF IS BORING. AND KIND OF CREEPY.

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