The Technique: Dramatic Tension
Every story needs dramatic tension -- a sense of mystery -- to create "What Happens Next?" This is what makes the reader want to turn the page! Understanding the difference between inner dramatic tension, which is character-driven, and outer dramatic tension, which is plot-driven, will help demystify the process of fiction writing.
Getting Started: Using this historical setting as a backdrop allows you to immediately jump right into the action of your scene. But remember, even in a scene or a novel with a powerful and action-oriented plot, it is always your characters who will make your readers want to turn the page. Balancing inner and outer dramatic tension should always reflect this!
Hint: Use the action as a springboard for your imagination, but take a few minutes before you begin to write to decide where your scene will take place, and when. Also, with images like these, it's easy to naturally assume that your point of view character for this scene will be a soldier or a pilot, but what if the woman embracing the soldier is actually a spy?
If she is, which side is she on? What is her mission? How does it relate to the man she's kissing? Is she planning on betraying him or saving him?
A great aspect of historical fiction is that it provides a natural doorway that leads right to the setting of your story. This doorway allows you to quickly get an intimate understanding of your character, whether you choose the soldier or the spy, and this prompt is designed to allow you an easy way to explore both types of dramatic tension by giving your characters a firm foundation in time and place.
You don't need to give a long and detailed backstory, so long as the dramatic tension reveals the aspects of your character and the plot in a way that's gripping for the reader. For this exercise, write for 45 minutes!