Day 5 – Clarify the Conflict and Tension

This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days       at-home workshop (

Today’s assignment is all about making sure there is enough conflict and tension throughout the book to keep the reader hooked. Every chapter and/or scene should have these two elements. If they don’t, you need to add or strengthen them, or consider removing that chapter or scene.

My outline and exercises to date made it easier to quickly review my chapters. I noted that my chapters 8 and 13 have tension, but either lack conflict or I didn’t express an inner conflict well enough. I will need to go back and rework them.

Results: After yesterday’s lackluster performance, I feel like I am moving forward again. I am collecting a lot of notes, but I’m not certain when I will get those revisions made, since future lessons may take care of this.


This assignment would be difficult to do without a good outline. Conflict can be internal or external. Tension can be as simple as deciding which toothpaste to buy or as complicated as hearing bombs exploding. Just make sure you have some kind of tension in every scene, or as Donald Maas, the New York agent and popular author recommends, on every page. Without it, the reader will not stay involved in the story.



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