I’m not talking about tension in the stressful sense, or necessarily in the political or argumentative sense. Instead I mean the mental tautness between two concepts pulling at each other. You can create tension by tightening the rhetorical string on these pillars:
1. Between paired unalike things.
2. Between what you deliver and what your audience expects.
Tension lies behind great storytelling, humor, sex, and persuasion. Among the devices that create tension are paradox and its snub-nosed version, the oxymoron; along with the contraster and the mirror image.