Writing Lite Tip #41: To create suspense, first think of a worst-case scenario…

Writing Lite Tip 41: To create suspense, think of a worst-case scenario. Then make it worse.

A fundamental task in creating suspense is to confront your protagonist with obstacles and hurdles he or she must overcome. Then, just as he/she thinks they have a handle on the situation, it becomes even worse.

One of the best examples I’ve read is in William Kent Krueger’s Purgatory Ridge. Two mothers and their children try to escape from a man who’s kept them captive in a shack in the middle of the woods during a brutal Minnesota winter. Pretty dangerous circumstances, right? Then we discover one of the children is diabetic, and if he doesn’t get his insulin, he’ll die.

I think you get the idea. Now do it!

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