Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – 5 Ways to Add Suspense to Your Story

I want to remember this. One of my goals for the next year is to finish my fanfiction story for Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper series.

Live to Write - Write to Live

Up all night - just can't stop reading. Up all night – just can’t stop reading.

Suspense isn’t just for mysteries. It’s a critical element of any successful story.

Done well, suspense uses uncertainty to make the reader feel both excited and anxious. Suspense is what keeps a reader turning the pages. It’s a sense of dread or anticipation brought on by a lack of information that keeps the reader guessing. Will she, or won’t she? Can they ever overcome the odds? Who will he choose? Will she tell the truth? Will they get there in time?

Last fall, during the Fiction I class I took via Grub Street our instructor, KL Pereira gave us five tips for adding suspense to our stories:

  1. Give your protagonist an explicit goal or objective: If your readers know exactly what your protagonist wants (or wants to avoid), they will be more easily hooked because they will want to know whether or not the…

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