Suspense is the most vital element in all genres of fiction. Without it there’d be nothing to keep the reader turning the pages.
Some tips on adding suspense to your story.
- The Characters
- Let your readers see their flaws as well as their strengths. Give them problems to sort through.
- Put your hero and/or heroine in jeopardy. Give readers a reason to be concerned about them.
- Make your villains real. Bring them to life, give them a personality, something the reader can identify with. Let the reader know their motivation.
- Let something from the past hold the hero and heroine back. (Click to Tweet) Insecurities, past regrets. Something they need to overcome to move forward.
- Let things go wrong on the path to whatever the character is trying to achieve. Make them work hard for what they want to gain.
- Create conflict between characters. Misunderstandings that need to be resolved. Let the reader know that internal thoughts of the characters and their concerns about how or if they can resolve the conflict.
- Add a plot twist. Just when the reader has it all figured out, push the characters to their limit. Give false clues. Make your readers wait and wonder.
- Always make the story problem clear, so the reader doesn’t have to wonder what is wrong, only how it is going get fixed.
- Create promises, a timeline of upcoming events, something to build anticipation. (Click to Tweet)
- Have your characters working against the clock.
- Make your dialogue strong, succinct. Fewer words, more emotion.
- Drop hints, but never tell too much. Always have the character still needing answers, wondering what to do next.
- Show, don’t tell. Action speaks louder than words.
- Let the reader hear the characters thoughts.
- Each scene should have tension. Some issue needs to be resolved.
- Use flashbacks. Emotional baggage, losses, mistakes. Something that holds the characters back from success.
- Secrets produce anticipation, tension. Something the hero or heroine or other character knows that needs to be discovered.
|About the Author|
Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.
Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she moved to Western Pennsylvania, before setting in North Carolina with her husband and children. Aside from writing, Annslee works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and has served as on the board of Carolina Christian Writers.
When she isn’t writing, Annslee enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, playing with grandbabies and all things chocolate!
You can reach Annslee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Smoky Mountain Investigation|
by Annslee Urban
A mysterious caller taunts journalist Kylie Harper with details about a decade-old death, leading her to a new trail of murder. Who is this deranged person…and what does he want from her?
Ex-Delta Force captain and Kylie’s former love Nick Bentley fled their Smoky Mountain hometown after the murder of their classmate. When family duty calls him back, Nick comes face-to-face with Kylie…and the past he’s tried to forget. Now Nick must put everything on the line to save Kylie before she becomes the next victim of a madman.