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  • Writer's picturetrevorcarterva .

Creating Suspense

Creating suspense in a work of fiction need not be a daunting task. There are several ways to make a story suspenseful. Below is a list of items that can get you on the right track.


The ticking clock - The race against time for your protagonist to take action is one way to add tension and suspense to your story.


Cliff hangars - Finish the chapter with a question for the reader, something that will keep them turning the page.


Clues on what's to come - Leave the reader with bits and pieces of information that will pique their interest and keep them reading to find the answer. In a way, it's like creating a puzzle. You give them some of the pieces throughout the story that allows them to become a participant in the story.


False sense of security - Play with your reader's emotions. Throw conflict into a situation that redirects your character's motivation. Use Red Herrings to distract the reader and leave them unsettled.


Raise the stakes - Put your character in a situation where they have to meet a new challenge that seems almost impossible for them to accomplish.


One thing to consider when adding suspense is to pace your story in a way that keeps the reader interested. There may be instances where the pace changes throughout the story. In the beginning, the pacing might be slow. But as you near the climax, and the stakes get higher, the pacing will likely speed up.


Happy writing!


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