Tensiontrons & Quasicrystals (from the Archives)

Well, the Nobel Prize committee has snubbed me once again, denying me my award for both the DNA of a beginning and of an ending. But I’m not bitter. Nope. Not-at-all. Obliviously, the discovery of quasicrystals was more important than my identification of what makes a good story tick. I mean, look how many people use quasicrystals as compared to how many read or write novels.

Anyhow, a good scientist does not dwell. No, he does not. Especially not about something as important as quasicrystals. A good scientist moves on and keeps sciencethising (yes, I just discovered that word – I’m that good of a scientist – eat your heart out, Dan Shechtman and your quasicrystals). And I’m here to report my latest findings.

I decided to look even smaller than the “-ines” (Care-ine,  Voice-ine, Theme-ine, and Hook-ine) which are all present in books. I wanted to examine what, if any, particles comprised these “-ines”, like certain atoms form the building blocks for organic DNA.

I poured over the best books, picking apart their narrative structures and super-colliding their “-ines” (a very expensive endeavor). Sure enough, I found one of these more basic building blocks: A tensiontron.

A tensiontron, in the most layman of terms, is the particle which makes a reader want to know what happens next. Add in enough of them and a reader will have to know. Pump it all the way and they’ll bedying to know. At the max, a reader cannot sleep, eat, or perform basic functions until they’ve finished reading.

As some of the other Muses and commenters pointed out this week (in not as scientific terms), tensiontrons exist in a wide variety of formats: Emotional, Physical, Sexual, etc. They seem to coexist – even thrive – when in combination with many variations.

Interestingly, tensiontrons dictate much more than just story content. They govern grammar and sentence structure. Many times, I found shorter, punchier sentences as the number of tensiontrons increased. At times, grammar was the first to decay with an abundance of them, allowing for fragments and run-ons alike.

Please, use caution when experimenting with tensiontrons yourself. In order for them to create a proper “-ine”, they must be added in manageable doses. Shooting too many into a story at once becomes jarring for the reader and they’ll toss the book out the window.

I apologize if you’re struggling with my scientific jargon. Let’s work through a simple example together.

Shelby Snarfenburger was in Savannah on a hot summer day.

This statement has no tensiontrons, so let’s add a few, but not too many at once.

Shelby would’ve killed for a soda. Any soda. Diet or full-carb.

Now, there’s a definite charge to the story, but why stop there?  

As it happened, Danny walked by with a whole ice chest full of refreshing sodas. Tons of dietand full-carb.

More. More.

“Hey,” said Shelby, wiping sweat out of her eyes. “Gimme one of them sodas.”

“Sure thing.” Danny grinned as he passed by. “For five bucks.”

              Don’t stop now, but also don’t forget that you can add more than one variety at a time. Let’s spice this sucker up with some Emotional tensiontrons too.

“Ya stinker. I just lost my job,” Shelby hobbled after Danny, the effort making her thirst that much worse. “I don’t got stinking five bucks.”

That’s the ticket.
“Ain’t my problem.” Danny shrugged and left Shelby in the dust.

Shelby didn’t watch him go. Instead, she rubbed her head and mumbled to herself.

“Can’t a gal just catch one little break? Just one – stupid – drink. I worked so fricken hard and I can’t get one fricken sip?!”

Now, let’s jack the tensiontrons all the way – light the sucker up like the 4th of July.

Danny, whistling a little tune to himself, crossed the street, completely oblivious to Shelby who’d just reached into her purse.

“All I wanted was just – one – stupid – drink.”

The Compact semi-automatic Smith & Wesson .45 ACP Chief's Special glinted in the blistering Carolina sun.

Whooo-wee. Now, I know it’s not the best writing in the world, but enough to demonstrate the power of tensiontrons.

Take that, quasicrystals. If this discovery doesn’t win me next year’s prize, nothing will.

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.


discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers