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A Simple Way to Create Suspense

How do you create suspense? I’m asked that question often, and it seems that every writers’ symposium has a class with that title. It’s an important technical issue, and not just for so-called suspense novels. Every novel needs a narrative engine, a reason for people to keep reading to the end, whatever the subject, style, genre or approach.

 

But it’s a bad question. Its very form misleads writers and pushes them onto an unhelpful and overcomplicated track.

 

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Dun dun DUN: Suspense In Your Story

Dun dun DUN: Suspense In Your Story | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

Every story needs stakes, right? And every story needs suspense–after all, what’s the point in high stakes if you’re not worried the protagonist won’t make it there? Suspense doesn’t have to mean Hitchcock style terror–it can be King George VI’s big speech at the end of The King’s Speech, or Hugh Grant’s mad dash at the end of Notting Hill. Every book needs a will-they-or-won’t-they element, and that’s where suspense comes in.

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How to Create Suspense

How to Create Suspense | The Funnily Enough | Scoop.it

This is how you create suspense:

 

Don’t withhold sensitive information that could put your characters in danger. Instead, broadcast that sensitive information to your reader as soon as possible. That way, your reader has no choice but to walk on eggshells for the rest of your story, keeping them engaged and glued to the page until the very end.

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