'A good story is life, with the dull parts taken out.'
What's a hot spot?
The hot spot is the climax of the story, the most exciting part, the crescendo.
Good writers like to create tension, either something bad is going to happen or the characters are worrying about something. Alas, sometimes our writing can fall flat. When you are worried there is nothing going on you may have missed the 'hot spot' or tension in the scene.
Raymond Obstfeld, in Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes recommends that if your scene doesn't have a hot spot cut it!
My edit list for 'hot spots.'
I follow Obstfeld advice and circle the hot spot in my writing. And then...
1. Read the paragraph preceding the hot spot. Is it absolutely necessary?
2. Are all the sentences needed?
3. Are there any unnecessary words?
4. Is there anything distracting the reader away from the action?
5. Are there any really long sentences, 'ly' words?
6. Read it aloud, savour it.
Hopefully, these tips will help create a tension hot spot worthy of Hitchcock!