Saturday, August 27, 2016

Conflict and Suspense In Literature

Creating conflict and suspense in your stories can be hard work. One author stated: "It takes 10% talent and 90% hard work to create conflict and suspense...". If that is the case, then we'd better role up our sleeves and get to work.

It begins with grammar. How we use our words. When writing a scene needing a fast pace, the sentences need to be short and clipped. If you write in lazy sentences that are long and flowing, the reader will relax and not feel the tension. For example:

He walked into the dark room and saw blood pooled on the floor.


The room was dark. He edged forward. Blood glistened in a pool in front of him.

Which do you prefer? One is plain and straightforward and rather bland. The other gives more tension and the character edges into the room.

It takes more effort and hard work to create tension. What I do is first write what I want to portray and then take it apart to re-create the best scene possible. How do you create tension and suspense? Please share your thoughts with us.


  1. I always do sentence destruction and reconstruction in my second draft trying to give the scene the emotion I want.

    1. I love your description! It's so graphic. I can see the bombs going off.

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