3 Techniques Writers Use to Build Suspense

Learn how mystery, suspense & dramatic irony can help you create tension & build suspense in your writing. Discover 6 devices for increasing tension & creating atmosphere.

3 Techniques Writers Use to Build Suspense

Mystery, suspense and dramatic irony are the tools that writers use to create tension and thus draw readers into the story. Crafting a captivating narrative requires three key elements: time, setting, and a great villain. If these are achieved, readers will be hooked and eager to find out what happens next. Foreshadowing is another great way to create suspense.

There are several ways to hint at a character change or plot reveal later in the story. For the best result, any outcome of the omen should appear in the third act. However, it is important not to overuse omens, as this can slow down the progression of the character and plot. There are certain devices that can be used to increase tension and add atmosphere to writing; six of these are described below. These suspense devices are discussed in our creative writing skills book, which is perfect for children aged 7-14 who want to improve their writing skills.

A few strategically placed Chekhov weapons can be an effective way for writers to create suspense when writing. This has the potential to generate a great deal of anticipation as only the audience has access to important information that will affect the character or plot. The writer's aim is to engage the audience in such a way as to heighten the tension. Since that character's power no longer exists, the question of how he will win (or be defeated) arises and creates suspense. To bring the suspense to an explosive level at the climax of the story, each new action of the hero must be blocked by his opponent and either fails or leads to an even greater problem, until the climactic scene arrives in which the problem of the story is finally resolved in one way or another.

Writers should bear in mind that countdowns are so powerful and work as an obvious element of suspense that they should be used sparingly and carefully. If violence is an essential part of your story and you want to create suspense, keep violence to a minimum, but keep the threat of violence as long as you can. The best writers will add new lines of suspense through the tension between internal and external conflict. Suspense comes from building a special connection between readers and characters, as well as exploring their psychology and their ability to overcome obstacles. This is because the writer has perfected the art of suspense so well in his story that we are compelled to find out what happens next.

To really create tension in your writing, use “Show, don't tell”, but extend your sentence with an adjective, adverb, or simile. If suspense is built through subtextual instances, it probably won't generate any degree of anticipation.

Leave Message

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *