Suspense is a feeling of excited waiting. If you've been waiting for weeks for an answer to your marriage proposal, they keep you in suspense. A national Rose Bowl semifinal that was predicted to lack suspense ended up lacking suspense, unless you want to tell about the art exhibition. When you think about what's at stake and how suspense keeps the reader anxious to know the outcome of those bets, you realize that suspense is something that shines through in many ways.
Now that we've examined what suspense is, let's take a closer look at why it works and what makes suspense an indispensable element in a well-told story. Harper Lee's book To Kill a Mockingbird is full of suspense, as readers wonder about the mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley, and follow the court drama to discover the outcome when Scout's father defends an accused rapist. Suspense depends on the reader's ability to make predictions based on the clues and information you provide. For example, the work of Sophocles Oedipus Rex is largely based on suspense, as readers (or viewers) move forward to learn how the tragic hero will fulfill the prophecy that predicts that he will kill his father and marry his mother.
Curiosity generates questions, but without the accompanying data that allows the reader to predict and anticipate, it does not reach the level of suspense. For a while it almost seemed like I was about to do the same thing, and the suspense almost infuriated the girls. Any day when I can send readers to the edge of their seats, full of suspense and biting their nails to the tip, is a good day for Joslyn. Year after year, mysteries, thrillers and thrillers dominate the box office, bookstores and streaming services.
The three modalities that entertain the reader and move the story forward are curiosity, surprise and suspense. And if you want to bring the suspense to a head, let's say your little girl has been kidnapped and the captor demands that your son's team win the game or you'll never see her again.