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How To Write Stories
by Alex Glaros


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Let's look at another example of tension and release.

Linda has just moved to another town and has started going to a new high school.

Some of the cool kids from the school drive by and invite her to a swimming party. She goes to the party, has a good time and makes friends with the kids.

There's not enough tension in the story, and no problem difficult enough to transform Linda.

Let's fix Linda's story.

Linda has just moved from her old home and has started going to a new high school.

Some of the cool kids from the school drive by and invite her to a swimming party. Linda goes to the party, but she can't swim. Now she has to spend a lot of time making excuses why she can't get into the pool.

After a while, Linda becomes embarrassed at being such a phony and finally tells her new acquaintances that she can't swim. Fortunately, the kids are cool enough to appreciate the courage it took to make such an admission in front of everybody, and is accepted into the group. The kids tell Linda that it's okay that she can't swim and she receives a sympathetic response.

The next day the cool crowd drops by Linda's house and asks if she would like to test drive a new car one of the kids bought. Linda isn't a good driver, but this time she immediately admits that she can't drive and asks if she can go along for the ride anyway. Linda hops in the car for the ride with a new confidence in herself, which allows her to be more comfortable being honest in teenage insecurity situations.

Linda's emotional growth leaves the reader with a sense of completeness and satisfaction.

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