1. Time pressure – The character has a limited amount of time in which to accomplish a goal or solve a problem.
Ex.: Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel Other time pressures include:
2. Forces of nature – Rain coming in. impending storm, etc.
3.Deadline dates – preparations, contest entry deadlines, athletic training for a specific contest, mortgage payment, bomb set to go off, harvest before the rain frost, onset of winter, etc. Arrival of holiday – birthday of Christmas gifts to make, etc.
4.Setbacks – The most important part of the plot is the series of setbacks the main character faces in trying to resolve the conflict or attain the goal. In well-developed fiction, there are often 3 or more of them. The series of setbacks make up the middle of the story. The main character overcomes each successively more difficult setback – the last one in a grand way to a satisfactory close.
5.Events or setbacks that might temporarily prevent the characters from solving their problems are:
mishaps or accidents
6. Reader Is In On a Secret the Character Doesn’t Know – Tension rises when the reader learns something through the narration that the character doesn’t know. The reader becomes anxious for the character.
Ex. The bed is frayed and about to break.
A villain is hiding in the house. A trap has been laid.
7.Anticipation of a Major Scene – Characters set up the tension through their dialogue about the Big Event or their warnings. They anticipate another character’s arrival or action(s).