Friday, July 24, 2009

Writing prompt full of suspense

Let's talk a little more suspense. Now that we know the difference between mystery and suspense, how do we create suspense?

Use time constraints - A key method to building suspense is through the use of time. The protagonist works against the clock, and the clock works for the villain.

Keep the stakes high - The story must be about a crisis that threatens to rock the foundation of the protagonist’s world, and the hero must be willing to do anything to prevent it from occurring.

Complicate matters - Pile on the problems. Give the protagonist more things to deal with than he/she can possibly handle.

Apply pressure - The protagonist works under what seems to be insurmountable odds. All his/her skills and strengths are stretched to the breaking point in order to save the someone's life, his/her own life, or life as they know it.

Be unpredictable/surprise us - Nothing in life goes according to plan. Make nothing straight-forward for the protagonist. Suspense requires twists and turns.

Now that you have a few tips on how to create suspense, let's write it. Use the tips from above to help you write a paragraph or a page, or whatever comes to mind. Make the reader want more!

Writing Prompt: As the police sirens grew louder, Kate realized they were coming for her.


Terry Kate July 25, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

Could things get any worse? Wait don't ask that. Don't even think that. She pulled her thoughts away from visions of police dogs chasing her down in the woods.

The rain would throw them off the scent right? Keep moving. She had never been this wet, with every step water squished in the puddle of water that was collecting inside her shoes. The water running down every surface she touched was its own problem. Keep moving.

It was all a mistake. She hadn't killed anyone. She certainly hadn't killed her own father. Keep moving.

She had to get to Bret. Had to reach his cabin before the police found her. Found her covered in her father's blood. How much of that blood would be left on her clothes now?

Keep moving. How far was his cabin? Can't remember. Keep moving.

Her heart stopped as bands of iron wrapped around her middle. She struggled to get away until a gentle voice broke through her mindless determination to make it up this hill, to make it to the cabin.

"Shh, Baby it's okay. I got you love."

Denise July 27, 2009 at 8:48 PM  

Hi Terry,

Great movement. Liked visualizing her running.


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