on Jane Friedman site:
Just about every fiction writer understands the need to include elements of rising tension in their stories. But as someone who reads thousands of submissions every year, I know that many emerging writers sometimes don’t know quite how to go about this. I see a lot of stories try to tease their way into creating tension. They drop vague hints about what is at stake for the characters instead of showing it outright, and then withhold the reveal until the end, as if that is as high as the tension can possibly go.
But all that does is maintain low tension, without increasing it, and if the narrative structure of a story depends on rising tension, then this approach fails. Without the promise of greater rewards, a narrative can start to sound like a tease: I’ve got a secret and I’m not telling!