Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tips to Create Suspense/Tension


I’ve just spent the whole summer writing and revising my newest novel. Through my efforts to create a great story I’ve used the following advice, which I garnered from editor’s critiques, agent’s blogs and my own writing partners. These ten easy steps helped me. I hope they will help you too.


Tips to create suspense/tension to keep your readers turning those pages!

1. Show, don't tell! The fewer blocks of description or passive writing, the better.
2. Avoid "info dumps." That brings your story to a screeching halt.
3. Use realistic dialogue and action scenes.
4. Make your danger believable.
5. Include the unexpected.
6. Shorten words and sentences.
7. Vary the mood from suspenseful to relaxed in order to keep the tension higher.
8. Scenes which take place in a short amount of time (one night, an hour) are more suspenseful than scenes which take place over several days or weeks.
9. Get MC’s problems out of their head and into dialog.
10. End each chapter with a “hook.”


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