Monday, November 19, 2012


There are many layers to creating a suspense story where the intensity is so thick you can taste it, and your protagonist defeats the antagonist against insurmountable odds.  But, giving away too much too soon can be a spoiler, just as letting the protagonist off easy.  So, how do you strike the right chord?  Suspense writing, like any other genre, requires discipline.  

1.      Your protagonist has to stay vigilant with objectives.  This is not the time for tip-toe-through-the-tulip moments. One way to do this is to create limits on when he/she can achieve a specific goal, making time a factor.

2.      Keep it moving, don’t stall.  Avoid overloading your suspense scenes with narrative and colorful passages.

3.      Make your protagonist tough even when he/she may start fragile. If there is such a transformation, the character must be believable to win over the reader.

4.      Make matters worse.  Give your protagonist multiple problems to solve at once.

5.      Get into the bad guy’s head.  Everyone loves to hate a good villain. 

6.      A happy ending won’t let down your readers. The reader should feel relieved and pleased at the outcome of your story.

7.      Create a likable protagonist in spite of character flaws. You want the reader to root for him/her.

 Other sites to check out:

“How To Write Suspense Stories And Mystery Novels,” (

“How To Write A Mystery Story,” (

 Have you written a suspense story?