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How do you create tension and suspense when writing?

Brandon Scott

in Online Courses

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1 answer

Roger Moore on May 13, 2019

Creating a feeling of suspense or tension is essential to keep your readers turning those pages! Here are some tips that you can use: . Show, don't tell! The fewest number of blocks description or passive writing, the better. Avoid "info dumps" where you just throw down a mass of information that will bring your story to a higher, and convert it in a text book. Instead, give your readers information by showing the characters doing things, by including realistic dialogue, and the action scenes. . Make your "danger" believable - you can have actual danger, such as an unexploded bomb or an impending train wreck; or you can have psychological danger such as loss of a job or spouse, or even loss of honor. The trick is to make what the danger is something that is important to the character - give him something that would devastate him if that happened! . Throw something out-of-field - include something unexpected to make the reader want to continue. This does not have to be a great thing, simply do not write the same old cliche scenes that we have seen time and time again. Think "What would people normally do in this situation?" and have your character do something different. Or imagine how that situation would normally do, and doing something unusual happens in their place. You know those old cartoons where the safe falls into the character? Your readers would not expect him to step into a well right before the safe lands! . Watch your pace. Increases the tension by shortening your words and phrases. Long sentences create a more relaxed mood, while short choppy ones make the scene suspenseful. . Watch your pacing Part 2 - don't keep things at a tipping point, though. Your characters and readers need some downtime after an action scene! Have the mood of your story vary from suspenseful to more relaxed in order to maintain the higher voltage. . Watch your time line - scenes which take place in a short period of time (one night, one hour) are more suspenseful than scenes which take place over several days or weeks. . Throw in a "button" or "hook" at the end of each chapter - in order to keep your reader from closing the book and going to sleep when the chapter ends, put a little bit of information that the characters do not know at the end of each chapter. This does not have to be of a great crisis, but it must be interesting enough to make the reader say "OK, just one more chapter", and turn the page.

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