What is Suspense? Definition & Examples in Literature

what is suspense

Both instability and uncertainty are key elements of suspense. Like we discussed above, in suspense, audiences typically know information suspense account that a character in the story doesn’t. Suspense can be executed in a variety of creative ways in a variety of genres.

Like sound design, suspenseful music is a surefire way to create suspense. Music is so effective, in fact, that many filmmakers will rely on it too heavily. The answers to these questions should add up to scene that will get the heart pumping. In the next section, we’ll dissect how each filmmaking technique can be used to create suspense with examples from The Ring. All suspense films create suspense differently but there are some core elements of suspense that are required. In this series, I’ll challenge you to build your own suspenseful mystery or thriller story as you learn.

Tone and mood words that build suspense

You can learn all about subtext and how it adds suspense to your stories in this article. One of the guiding principles of pacing is making sure that your form follows content, creating a compelling congruency that will keep your reader plunging forward, immersed in a story. Read all about cliffhangers and how to write them in your suspense story here. Learn more about how to write a story with a strong sequence of events in this article.

  • All of these details create suspense that keeps your reader’s attention.
  • You need to do the same thing with the suspense in your story.
  • To create a suspenseful moment in your own writing, you can make use of short, dramatic events.
  • We learned it at our mother’s knee and continued the training through every encounter with friends, family, teachers, media—everything.

Suspense cannot be created by throwing the audience directly into chaos or turmoil. The chaos has to develop in order for the suspense to grow. A key part of executing this is by establishing stability followed by instability. Movies that operate on suspense give the audience a more objective perspective. Sometimes, this objective perspective allows the audience to know more information than characters do.

Foreshadowing: 10 Clever Methods to Write An Engaging Plot Twist

One way to make this happen is to give them what they expect, but not in the way they expected it. For instance, readers of detective fiction expect there will be a scene toward the end of the book when the detective explains how he reached the solution. Atmosphere is the texture of the story, created by the careful selection of details, that provides the sensory palette through which the https://www.bookstime.com/ reader will experience story events. In this article, I teach three obstacles writers face when writing action scenes, and how to overcome them. Part of this thrilling emotions come from action scenes—but moving your story into an action sequence can be a risky business. It requires special attention, and if you don’t give it what it needs, you invite your reader to leave the book.

what is suspense

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