I can hardly wait to share what I learned this week at camp from Coach Sol! It’s the key to writing a book that a reader can’t put down. It’s what makes a story great. It’s…are you ready? Are you really really ready?
Maybe I’ll tell you in my next letter…
Just kidding—it’s suspense!
Coach Sol said that suspense is achieved by arousing the reader’s curiosity and keeping it aroused for as long as possible. He told us NOT to rescue our hero/heroine. Instead, make their problem bigger. Don’t eliminate danger, and don’t let our characters overcome immediate danger without going through a greater danger. Is there an unwanted confrontation my character is dreading? I should put it off as long as I can. Other suspense tactics include bringing an old fear into the present. Or making my character’s actions backfire.
Coach also told us to avoid taking the reader where he/she wants to go. Use those cliffhangers at the end of scenes and chapters. Talk about fun!
Writers are troublemakers. That’s our job! (I knew I was gifted in that area for a reason….) Coach told us to increase the tension in our stories by stretching out intense scenes by adding characters or difficulty. Don’t be afraid to stretch!
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m off to make a little trouble with what’s left of summer!
Love You Guys!
Your Very Own Rabble-Rouser
Is there a deliciously naughty part of you that loves making trouble in YOUR stories? How do you make the most out of tension when you write?