Monday, December 12, 2011

Lesson 5: Suspense

So, I asked you which post I should post next and most chose suspense, so here I go.

Suspense is easy to mess up, but it is SO important for a story. Readers expect suspense; it keeps a story lively and keeps the reader engaged in the story. Characters should run into some form of suspense along their journeys. You can't avoid it. Characters need it as much as readers do, so make it a priority!

In some pieces of writing, I've seen suspense used too quickly by rushing it. The whole point of suspense is to slowly make your way up to the climax (most suspenseful part of the story). Ex: (rushed suspense) "I felt my heart beating and I turned the corner to find a guy with an axe trying to chop me into a million pieces." Good idea! But slowly describe how you felt without trying to get through the suspense. Don't rush!

I've also seen others repeat the same moment in suspense over and over. Ex: (repeated suspense) Chapter end: "He hit me with a crow bar and I knocked out." Next chapter end: "He pushed me into an unseen void, and I blacked out." Ok, being blacked out, knocked out, it's nearly the same thing in my book.  If you use different endings to suspense it won't be boring. I blacked out, he fainted, she knocked out, we fell asleep... it's all REALLY close to the same thing. Find different endings to keep it ALIVE!

Good story suspense should be described well, slowly making it to the climax but also interesting, ending with different ways to suspend the reader; make them want to read more, and make your character be anticipating the next step.

Hope this helps,

Zemmzemm :D

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