Writing Exercise: Boredom Into Tension

Write down the most boring, enervating activity you know–or can imagine. It could be folding laundry. Or listening to your father-in-law tell his story of the fish that got away for the eleven hundredth time. Or waiting in an office where you can’t use your cell phone. Whatever.

Now write a paragraph–or scene–or entire story in which that activity is crucial to the plot. Convey to your reader not just the boredom but the foreboding of something bad to come. Think shower scene in “Psycho.” Practice using the everyday to build tension.

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