what is suspense

You can add a sense of urgency to your sales copy and persuade your customers to buy now. When your hero takes action, the antagonist should react immediately. In suspense, there are obstacles that prevent the main character from achieving his or her goal. At any time, Edward’s blood hunger could drive him to kill Bella. This leaves him in a constant state of anxiety over the danger. While a sadistic vampire, James, draws towards Bella, hunting her down, Edward and his other family members defend her.

what is suspense

Tension can be defined as an emotional state characterized by worry, nervousness or apprehension. Readers will feel tension when they are concerned about a character’s safety or their ability to face danger. Today I want to take a brief look at the importance of sound design, and how it can be used to create an engrossing experience. This is particularly important in a game like Drive, which has no dialogue or voice acting. The best stories are about people who find themselves in a situation that is out of control and escalating beyond their ability to understand or control it. A writer might give hints or clues about what is going to happen next in the story through what they write.

Brokerage Suspense Accounts

In Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, flashbacks are used to reveal the backstory of Mia Wright, including the shocking secret she’s been hiding from her daughter. Suspense is added with the additional understanding that an insight suspense account into the past benefits the reader. The difference lies in what kind of doubt is being created. Suspense occurs when we don’t know for sure whether a character will achieve her goals or remain safe until the end of the story.

What is suspense in horror?

Suspense is a state of uncertainty or excitement regarding a specific outcome. Suspense is typically coupled with feelings of anxiousness and anticipation. In storytelling, it is used to keep an audience deeply engaged in what is occurring.

Tension and release are the keys to good suspense, but the release has to be relevant to the tension, or it doesn’t work. Let me explain what I mean by telling you about a movie I saw recently – The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The problem with tension is that it’s often overused or misused.

What is Suspense?

Knowing what might happen down the road will help you set it up for your reader. In the last article, The Elements of Suspense, I challenged you to come up with a premise for your own mystery or thriller. If we knew it was coming, we’d be prepared, but it strikes suddenly and shocks us with unforeseen violence. Its impact is immediate, but its influence can quickly dissipate, meaning one of the other modalities—curiosity or suspense—will need to take its place to keep us glued to the story. In story, surprise might come in the opening sentence of a scene or the last, taking the form of a cliffhanger. Again, we’re curious and want to read further to learn answers, but we’re not yet driven by suspense.

  • Use these writing tips and examples to get inspired, and spin a suspenseful story that’ll have your readers dying for more.
  • All genres benefit from suspense in balance with their other vital elements.
  • Give them some pieces of the puzzle that the protagonist doesn’t have yet.
  • This moment sets up one of the best plot twists of the last decade.
  • And when it comes to my writing, it’s always been about suspense.
  • Dickens serialized novels were famous for pausing in the middle of action sequences or an important reveal.

When you build suspense in your script, you have a choice of either answering that question or keeping it unanswered until the end of your story. Either way can work well – it depends on what you’re trying https://www.bookstime.com/articles/statement-of-comprehensive-income to accomplish with your story. Suspense is when you have an impending event that has the power to change everything in an instant. It’s like watching a storm roll in and waiting for it to hit you.


Some of these ways include verbal cues, dramatic irony and foreshadowing. Directors use music, visuals and other sounds to create a feeling of suspense in their audiences. Overall, suspense is an important quality in order to absorb the reader into the story. The definition of suspense in literature is the tension that keeps our attention between one moment and another. As a literary device, narrative suspense creates a dramatic question in the story that holds the reader’s attention as they wait for the outcome. Closely related to short term suspense, horrific suspense is when your reader or audience is waiting for something terrible to happen.

what is suspense