What Is The Purpose Of Creating Tension In A Story

One of the most important aspects of writing a story is creating tension.

Tension helps to maintain engagement for the readers as well as makes them want to know what happens next!

But what is the purpose of tension in a story?

What are its benefits? 

In this blog post, we will discuss the purpose of tension and how it can help your story reach its full potential.

What Is Tension In A Story?

In literature, tension is the feeling of suspense or excitement that comes from a story with an uncertain outcome.

Tension builds as the story develops, and it is typically resolved in the climax when the protagonist faces off against the antagonist. Often, tension is created by introducing a conflict, which puts the characters in opposing positions.

This conflict can be internal, such as a struggle between what is right and what is easy, or external, such as a physical battle.

In addition to conflict, tension can also be created through devices like foreshadowing, which hints at future events, or cliffhangers, which leave readers in suspense at the end of a chapter or episode. Ultimately, tension is what keeps readers engaged with a story and eager to find it.

What Is The Purpose Of Tension In A Story?

Tension is an important element of any story, and it serves several purposes. First, tension creates a sense of suspense, which can keep readers engaged and eager to find out what happens next.

Second, tension can be used to heighten emotion and create a more intense reading experience.

Finally, tension can be used to reflect the real-world conflict and challenges that characters face. Without tension, stories would be flat and uninteresting. By creating tension, writers can keep readers hooked and give them a reason to keep turning the pages.

Does Tension Help Your Story Reach Its Full Potential?

A story without tension is like a car without gas—it might look nice, but it won’t go anywhere. Tension is what propels a story forward and keeps readers engaged. It’s the feeling of unease or suspense that comes from wondering what will happen next. Without tension, there is no conflict, and without conflict, there is no story.

While it may be tempting to let your characters off easy, the best stories are those that put them through their paces and force them to face their fears. After all, it’s only when we’re pushed to our limits that we can see what we’re truly capable of.

So if you want to write a story that packs a punch, don’t be afraid to add a little tension.

How To Create Tension In A Story?

Tension is an essential element of any good story. It keeps readers engaged and eager to find out what happens next. There are a few different ways to create tension in a story:

Introduce A Conflict

One of the most important elements of a story is conflict. Without conflict, there is no tension or suspense, and the story quickly becomes dull. There are many ways to introduce conflict into a story, but one of the most effective is to pit the protagonist against an antagonist.

The antagonist can be an individual, an institution, or even nature itself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who is actively trying to harm the protagonist, but simply someone who has opposing goals or who stands in the way of the protagonist’s goal.

By creating this opposition, the writer can create tension and suspense, and keep the reader engaged in the story.

Using Devices Like Foreshadowing And Cliffhangers

Foreshadowing and cliffhangers are two devices that authors often use to create tension in a story.

Foreshadowing is when the author provides subtle clues or hints about what may or may not happen later in the storyline. This can be done through dialogue, description, or even the characters’ actions.

Cliffhangers, on the other hand, are when the author ends a scene or chapter with a suspenseful moment, leaving the reader eager to find out what happens next. Both foreshadowing and cliffhangers can be effective in creating tension, but they should be used sparingly so as not to frustrate the reader.

When used skillfully, these devices can keep readers engaged and eager to find out what happens next.

Create A Sense Of Suspense

A sense of suspense is essential to keep readers hooked on a story. This can be created in many ways, such as by introducing a looming threat, withholding information from the reader, or raising questions about the characters’ motivations.

Another common tactic is to create a countdown clock, whereby the protagonist has a limited amount of time to achieve their goal. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages the reader to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. When used effectively, suspense can be a powerful tool for keeping readers engaged with a story.

Heighten Emotion

One way to heighten emotion in a story is to focus on the senses. By providing detailed descriptions of what the characters see, hear, taste, smell, and feel, readers will be able to fully immerse themselves in the story and understand the emotional experience of the characters.

Another way to heighten emotion is to use powerful words that evoke specific feelings. For example, words like “heartbreaking,” “terrifying,” and “exhilarating” can help readers to understand the emotional intensity of a scene.

Finally, it is often helpful to create tension or conflict within the story. This can be done by introducing obstacles for the characters to overcome or by creating suspenseful situations that leave readers guessing about what will happen next. By

Reflect On Real-World Conflict & Challenges Faced By Characters

In order to reflect the real-world conflict and challenges that characters face in a story, it is important to ground the story in a believable setting and to create characters that are relatable and realistic.

The setting should be designed to reflect the time period and place in which the story is taking place, and the characters should be complex individuals with their own motivations, fears, and desires. In addition, the plot should involve realistic obstacles and challenges that the characters must overcome to reach their goals.

By taking these steps, writers can ensure that their stories accurately reflect the complexities of the human experience.


The purpose of tension in a story is to create an emotional reaction in the reader.

Whether it’s fear, excitement, or suspense, tension can keep readers hooked until the very end. In order to create tension, writers must carefully plot their stories and use devices such as cliffhangers and plot twists to keep readers on their toes.

By understanding the purpose of tension, writers can craft more emotionally engaging stories that will keep readers coming back for more.

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