7 Super Effective Ways To Ramp Up The Tension In Your Screenplay

Gideon's Screenwriting Tips: Now You're a Screenwriter

Dramatic conflict is the backbone of quality screenplays. What better ways to raise the conflict in your screenwriting than modulating the tension in your story?

Tension in your writing can be defined as a period of elevated emotional intensity.

Here are some ways to effectively utilize tension in your story:

1) BURSTS OF TENSION

Tension can be either short lived or sustained. In order for tension to be effective in your script, it must be ACTIVATED, SUSTAINED and RELEASED. Prolonged tension will only tire and disengage your audience.

2)  MACRO INTENSITY

The levels of tension must be manipulated to hook your audience. Firstly consider the overall level of danger in the story arc.

In the macro story, the tension needs to be escalated in a “SAW TOOTH” format. This is basically the attack-sustain-release model. Think about the set pieces in your story and how they correlate with periods of  tension. My preference is for…

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