Wright’s Writing Corner: Romantic Tension Two: Catching the Lightning—Part One

This article is on the pains and cares writers without a natural knack for the craft must suffer to learn it, with particulars on capturing the levinbolt sensation of romance.

Slowly, painstakingly, I have taught myself one area of storytelling after another. Description was so hard for me. I spent years trying to learn to write even simple descriptions. I would copy by hand passages in books by authors I liked. I would sit and describe the same thing over and over. Sometimes, I wonder if none of the descriptions I write for the rest of my life will be quite as nice as the ones in Prospero Lost…because I polished them over and over and over again. I’ll never have that kind of time again for that.


One of my favorite things about reading romances—either the genre called romance or the romantic plot in any other kind of story—is the moments that zing. By zing, I mean the moments when  that jolt me like I have received a shock, or in a really good book, a lightning bolt. The moments that leap off the page.

First kiss is often a zing moment. But more recently, I began to study these moments more careful, to realize that there were quite a number of potential zing moments and that many authors do not make as good use of them as they could.

Read the whole thing here: