We all hear a lot about emotion or emotional tension in writing. This is an excellent article by Jessica Hart on the subject. This post is on Nas Dean's blog. To read the entire article go to http://nas-dean.blogspot.com/2011/05/create-emotional-tension-in-your.html
by Jessica Hart
I read quite a few manuscripts during the year. Most of them are fluently written, and it’s clear the writers have grasped many of the techniques of romance writing – dialogue/show not tell/giving the characters an ‘issue’ and so on. But there’s something missing, and when I try to identify what that something is, the answer is invariably ‘emotional tension’. I've edited a version of a workshop I gave on emotional tension and included it below, so it's quite long: I'm just about to go away (again!) for ten days, and didn't have time to write a concise version, I'm afraid. But if you can wade through it, I hope it will be helpful anyway.
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL TENSION?
Emotional tension (or conflict) is critical. It’s what sucks a reader into the story and keeps her turning the pages. It’s a common misconception that a romance is about how the hero and heroine fall in love and get married. It’s not. It’s about why two people who are powerfully attracted to each other not only won’t acknowledge the fact that they love each other, but feel that they can’t.