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13: Tension is the Thing with Maisey Yates and Jackie Ashendon

Breakout session
9:00 AM, Sunday 19 Aug 2018 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Morning tea   10:30 AM to 11:00 AM (30 minutes)
Perth Room (main conference floor)

We all know that romance novels are going to end up happily. So what is it that keeps a reader turning pages even when they know the inevitable end?

Tension is the thing.

In this workshop Jackie Ashendon and Maisey Yates will discuss how they use tension to keep readers hooked in their books. Jackie writes explosive, sexy romances, often with suspense plots, while Maisey writes small town romances with cowboys, but both books have two things in common: that all important HEA and lots and lots of tension.

In this workshop they will cover:

Why tropes? You hear a lot about tropes when it comes to romance novels, but why do tropes matter? They’re more than just a marketing hook. They’re often a simple way to figure out where your tension is coming from. (Best friend’s little sister, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers)

What is tension? Tension doesn’t mean your characters are bickering for pages on end. Tension comes from layers of resistance, and when one layer of resistance is dropped, another must be added.

How do you make tension organic? The only thing worse than no tension is manufactured tension. Or rather what are often external obstacles masquerading as tension. Good tension comes from character, and we’ll discuss how to mine your character for where your organic tension will be coming from.

Tension in love scenes — love scenes need tension too, and we’ll discuss how to keep the tension high all through a love scene in this section. Tension generates more heat than explicit words ever could.

But tension is more than sex — often in romance novels the love scene causes a drop in tension. We’ll discuss why that doesn’t have to happen, how to fix it, and why books without sex can be just as tension infused as the hottest erotic romance.

Attendees should leave this in depth tension workshop with a deeper understanding of how they can use tension to hook readers — from the description of the book, to page one, all the way until the  happy ending.