In which the second secret is: "Emotions create their own suspense."
Pretty much exactly what I was trying to get at in my lecture on Wednesday night. Charlie Jane (unsurprisingly) gets to the point far more succinctly than I ever could. She writes:
What's the worst that can happen if you think of your story as "a succession of great moments strung together"? Well, it could be kind of incoherent. At worst, the story might actually not make sense, or contradict itself. Those are things that might need to be fixed in the rewrites — but they're easier problems to fix than a story that's lifeless except for a few turning points.
And this is where the second statement, "emotions create their own suspense," comes in. If the characters and their emotions are consistent, then each "great moment" will absolutely feel connected to the next. Because the characters will keep caring about the things they care about.
Yes. Thank you. This.
(Also Charlie Jane also wrote "How to Turn a High Concept into a Story" in case you want to check to see if she continues to be more articulate and accessible than I could ever hope to be. ;-)