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Phy

Understanding The Difference Between 'tension' And 'suspense'

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...using the example of the first long scene in Quentin Tarantino's INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. QT is a master screenwriter and he understands the lessons of great directors like Hitchcock's principle of the bomb under the table very well. What I found most fascinating about this scene was how mundane it was for most of the scene and how he ratcheted the suspense through seemingly innocuous requests. (Note - I don't do Horror at all but I love the tension and characterization in this scene. Tarantino gives us a fully-fleshed villain who seems to be charming, educated, expansive, possibly harmless, until he shows us otherwise. People mistake QT as someone famous for his excesses - I think he is masterful for his restraint. Knowing the difference between tension and suspense can improve our writing for the scenes which will benefit from knowing the distinction.
 

 

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Thanks for posting this, very interesting. Also the dimension of contrast - between the beautiful landscape, the sunshine and innocence, and the horror of death squads entering that world.

 

I'm reminded of a related topic in effective responses in heated conversation/arguments. If possible, use minimum force. (Especially with an audience). Lashing out is less effective. As little as possible multiplies the effect and also shows greater control (or even mastery).

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On 3/13/2018 at 3:12 PM, Josh Morris said:

As little as possible multiplies the effect and also shows greater control (or even mastery).

I think this applies to living as well as writing.

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