The Key to Rocking Nearly Every Type of Writing

Ever feel like your writing is falling absolutely flat on the page? Like its pulse has flatlined and you don’t know how to revive it?

There’s a simple way to get those vital signs back to a strong, healthy level. It doesn’t always take a complete overhaul to improve a piece of writing. Sometimes you just need this one missing element and your writing can breathe, dance, and kick ass again.

What is it?

Tension.

And I believe this applies to almost every kind of writing: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, copywriting, resume writing (yes, even resumes!), article writing, blog posts, tweets, Facebook statuses, newsletters, ebooks, informational reports. Maybe even grocery lists. But that depends on how creative you feel like getting in your daily life.

Think about it.

Tension holds attention. Say that out loud and tell me that doesn’t just sound like it makes sense. Those words are entwined.

Tension comes in many forms. In fiction, tension is all the horrible things you throw in your character’s way as she tries to attain that one thing she needs and wants more than anything else.

In copywriting, it happens when you address your reader’s pain points and teach them how you’ll help make their lives  better.

In blog posts, tension exists as a way to transmit useful information, or simply as a way to tell an engaging story to a captive audience.

It even applies to social media– write about your breakfast on Facebook, and you’ll get zero attention. But ask a question that creates an emotional response (which, essentially, is all tension is) or write about your break up, and suddenly you’ve got an audience, right?

Resumes have their own type of tension, too– your resume should illustrate the problems you helped fix and improve at your previous jobs. There you have it: tension + solution. The result? Engagement.

Tension doesn’t always have to be negative. Instead, onsider it a way to amp up your reader’s emotions enough that they care about what you’re writing.

Tension often allows readers to connect with your writing. If they can feel something, they’re in.

Tell me, do you consciously think about tension when you’re writing? Do you think it’s the key to good writing? 

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