Tension-Make the Little Things Count

I’ve worn glasses since I was eleven years old, and contacts since my late teens. I tend to do exactly what my eye doctor tells me not to, and wear my two-week contacts for about six weeks.

Hey, the little things are pricey, and I take them out every night and clean them and love them and sometimes I might give them names like stupid-lefty and why-do-you-hate-me-righty.

The other day I was sitting at my desk at work, and one contact started to feel…gritty. Like a tiny microbe of sand was floating around between it and my eyeball, almost scratching my iris, but not quite.

Often blinking can remedy this problem, dislodging the irritant, allowing that delightful eye goop to surround it and take it away, leaving me to see without wanting to scratch my eye out. But not this time. Alas, the speck of hate stayed, bobbing up and down with every blink of my eye, harmlessly scraping as it went.

Normally this wouldn’t have bothered me, but couple it with a sleepless night, one co-worker who can’t seem to shut his hyperactive mouth for more than two seconds, a project that keeps coming back for more and the fact that the candy jar was locked in the HR guy’s office, and this whole contact thing sent me straight over the edge. After five minutes of blinking, I stood up, rammed my chair into the table behind me, threw open my cupboard, grabbed my contact solution, slammed my cupboard shut and stomped off to the restroom.

Over a tiny piece of sand. Okay, probably a bit of dust, or hair. Whatever. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but because of the series of unfortunate events before it, it turned into a drama fest.

We’ve been talking about tension all month. Check out the posts, I guarantee you’ll learn something. From sexual tension, to using your prose to bring tension to your story.

When you’re telling you story, don’t forget to introduce that irritant. Throw in that reason they can’t be together. Pull the audience’s emotions in the direction you want them to go. Like The Princess and the Pea, it doesn’t have to be big to be perfect.

About Jo Schneider

Jo Schneider grew up in Utah and Colorado, and finds mountains helpful in telling which direction she is going. One of Jo's goals is to travel to all seven continents—five down and two to go. Another goal was to become a Jedi Knight, but when that didn't work out, Jo started studying Shaolin Kempo. She now has a black belt, and she keeps going back for more. An intervention may be in order. Being a geek at heart, Jo has always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. She writes both and hopes to introduce readers to worlds that wow them and characters they can cheer for. Jo lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her adorkable husband, Jon, who is very useful for science and computer information as well as getting items off of top shelves.

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