How to create suspense in writing

There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art.

The trick is to keep a secret. Or many secrets, even. In Lee Child’s books, Jack Reacher always has a big mystery to crack, but there are a series of smaller mysteries in the meantime, too, a new one appearing as soon as the last is resolved. J. K. Rowling is another master of this technique — Who gave Harry that Firebolt? How is Rita Skeeter getting her info?

The art, meanwhile, the thing that makes “Pride and Prejudice” so superbly suspenseful, more suspenseful than the slickest spy novel, is to write stories in which characters must make decisions.

Charles Finch in the NY Times

Jump to a specific topic:

Acting & Casting // AI // Art & Commerce // Books // Coding // Comedy // Culture & Ideas // Directing // Editing // Film Festivals // Humor & Satire // Marketing // Movies, Music, TV // Non-fiction // Places // Producing // Projects // Weird Hemingway // Work & Personal Development // Writing & Storytelling //