Creating Suspense in Writing

Well, it ain’t like the movies.  Queue the creepy out-of-tune piano.  Turn up the volume and speed of the hero/heroine’s heart beat.  Flash to a memory or vision of the future such as the word REDRUM scrawled on a mirror in blood-red lipstick or a tidal wave of sangria spilling out of an elevator.

Good.  Now we’re all shaking in our boots.  The blatant waste of that much wine certainly scares the crap out of me.

But in writing, we don’t get the benefits of sound effects or music, unless we describe them.  It is a delicate matter.  An author can’t be too overt with the auditory description.  Fine smatterings of sound clips sprinkled throughout do more to suck the reader into your world.  And therein lies the suspense.  The reader must feel that the action that is occurring is their own.  Your world building must be real.  The pounding heart rate, or rush of blood beating in the character’s ears, become the reader’s heart rate, the reader’s ears.

And when the shriveled up naked lady jumps out of the bathtub and tries to strangle the little boy, she is really strangling us all.

At least I hope so.

In the next couple of blog postings, I plan to explore different writing techniques used to add suspense.  So stay tuned (insert evil laugh).

About Kimber Vale

Author of romance of all stripes. View all posts by Kimber Vale

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