Here are four proven ways to maintain suspense in your story, Foreshadowing. This is the bread and butter of suspense. Dive into the world of writing and learn the 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop, you'll cover the steps to write a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, start writing your first draft.
This was a problem I faced with my thriller The Knight. In the story, a murderer recreates 10 crimes from a 13th century manuscript that was condemned by the church. If I had shown all 10 crimes, the story would certainly have included a lot of appalling violence, but the murders would have become boring after a while. Instead, my investigator discovers the murders in the middle of the crime wave and must try to stop the killer before the final horrific crime.
Trained wrestler and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things that all writers should consider when trying to write effective fight scenes in fiction. To create suspense, all you have to do is introduce unnamed or underdeveloped characters into a tense or dangerous situation. Then, the “red shirts” die, mutate, or lose a limb and, all of a sudden, the reader is really worried about what will happen to the character he loves. Take our 1-minute quiz to find out.
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. However, no matter how you use flashbacks, they have to mean something in the story.
You can include a red herring as part of a flashback, but all of this can't just be a distraction or your reader will feel betrayed. That applies to both content and tone. Flashbacks should be read as vividly and intriguingly as the current narrative, and should not seem like a distraction, but rather an expansion of the plot. Join a community of more than 1 million authors.
Anyway, a few cleverly placed Chekhov weapons are a very effective way for writers to create suspense when writing. Watch Michel Faber create suspense in “The Book of Strange New Things”, in which a missionary goes to a new planet to evangelize aliens. One of the best applications of short-term suspense is to create ending scenes or episodes that leave the reader desperately in suspense. As a writer, it's vital that you become aware of how you shape those sequences to create the desired effect on the reader's curiosity, fear, or apprehension (see the graphic on this page).
Finally, I added another 24 hours to the story to create an opportunity to make promises and rewards that would give the story an air of suspense. Making life for your protagonist won't create suspense if the reader doesn't care. So you create suspense by showing objects to the characters because the reader wants to keep reading to discover how that object affects the plot. Multiple problems and the constant tension between them offer endless opportunities to create suspense.
Creating suspense is really about evoking an emotion in the reader, an emotion similar to happiness, pain or anger.