Take our 1-minute quiz to find out. Having more than one narrative suspense arc keeps the reader interested and gives the story additional layers of depth. You can also achieve these goals through short-term suspense, which we'll discuss in the next section. Short-term suspense cases usually involve an argument or confrontation between characters that is resolved quickly, although it may resurface later on.
For example, the initial outburst of tension between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy at the first dance of Pride and Prejudice lays the foundation for their ongoing and controversial relationship. One of the best applications of short-term suspense is to create ending scenes or episodes that leave the reader desperately in suspense. Just as Scheherazade cut her stories so that the sultan would let her live, suspensions interrupt your story at critical moments when all the reader wants to know is what will happen next.
Mystery suspense is the most traditional form of suspense, which is often used in thrillers and, of course, mystery novels. Although all suspense involves mystery in one way or another, mysterious suspense differs in that something is deliberately hidden from the reader. They know that they don't have the whole truth and that keeps them alert. Do you want to read more Agatha Christie books? We've got you covered.
Here are 10 of Christie's greatest mysteries. Or if horror is your thing, here are the best horror books of all time. Frightening suspense is when the reader knows that something terrible is going to happen, but its precise nature remains unclear, such as waiting for him to get scared in a movie. As expected, it's more common in horror and sometimes thriller novels.
That's not to say that the mysterious and horrible suspense can't be combined. A novel can contain elements of both, especially if it's a murder mystery. And Then There Were None, for example, perfectly interweaves a mysterious and horrifying suspense throughout its arc, making the reader wonder “who isn't? (mystery) and “when will they do it again? (horrible). Stephen King's Misery is full of dreadful suspense, but perhaps none more horrifying than the infamous “limp scene”.
At this point in the book, the reader fully understands that his villain, Annie Wilkes, is dangerously unstable, which contributes to his growing dread. Putting your characters in a dangerous situation is the ultimate recipe for sudden suspense (remember Stephen King's method in Misery). It's especially useful when you're approaching the high point of your mysterious suspense arc and you need to intensify it with dreadful suspense in the short term. Join a community of more than 1 million authors.
The two types of suspense that every suspense story should have are narrative (or long-term) suspense and short-term suspense. Suspense is the anticipation of a resolution, while mystery is the feeling of uncertainty. Shock is the unexpected occurrence of something that interrupts a situation. Text suspense, mystery and shock are used in novels to create different effects on the reader.
Suspense and mystery are closely related, since both involve some kind of uncertainty or doubt. Knowing the types can help you identify the ones that your favorite thriller authors use most often. The purpose of using this type of anxiety in literature is to make readers more concerned with the characters and to form a comprehensive partnership with them. There are five basic types of suspense in literature, all of which you should know if you're writing a suspense story.