Posted June 2019

Tension and Desire: How Your Characters’ Deepest Longings Make for Page-Turning Fiction


In this class, we’ll explore the landscape of internal and external goals, overarching desires, emotional wounds, and unacknowledged longings. We’ll parse their different functions and explore how they can best be employed on a scene-by-scene and page-by-page basis. We’ll also discuss when desires should be made overt to the reader and when they should operate in sub-text. Additionally, we’ll work with desire as a tool for creating tension, building apprehension and investment via dialogue, exposition, internal monologue, and more. Prepare for some hands-on work during this class!

Event Materials

Wounds, Desire, and Tension

Lorin Oberweger discusses character "wounds" and how these past experiences influence character choices. Whether or not it is obvious to characters themselves, they are always trying to resolve their wounds. She also talks about building tension by exploring motivations, leveraging setting, and challenging expectations. There are several writing exercises throughout - leave yourself at least 5 minutes for each and feel free to pause the video if you need longer. 1 hour, 13 minutes.

About Lecturer

About Lorin Oberweger

Lorin Oberweger is a highly sought-after independent book editor and ghostwriter with more than twenty-five years experience in publishing. Her company, Free Expressions, offers writing workshops nationwide, and she’s known for her one-on-one story mastermind weekends. An award-winning author, Lorin has six traditionally published books (four fiction, two nonfiction), including BOOMERANG, REBOUND, and BOUNCE, published by Harper/William Morrow. Two more are due for publication in 2020. Her work has appeared in well over one-hundred periodicals, and her books have received glowing reviews from the New York Times, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, and others.