Tension is what keeps the reader going. Sometimes it is suspense, sometimes it is conflict but what it is really is keeping the stakes high enough that we can pull the reader along from page 1 to page 201. Most stories begin with high tension and drama, and many end with it, but it is that ambiguous middle ground where the difficulty often arises and the reader’s attention strays. One of the suggestions for keeping the tension high through the middle of your novel is to raise the stakes. If a character misses out on lunch because they were late we don’t care, if they become lunch if they are late then it is much more interesting. That extra ‘oomph’ will keep us on the edge of our seats.
Now if it was as easy to do, as it is to talk about.