There are several tools writers use to create the suspense that pulls a reader into a story and makes them want to follow our protagonist on his or her journey. Today, I thought I'd share ten techniques sure to help you add intrigue and mystery to your writing.
1. Get your characters in trouble! Be ruthless. Think of the worst thing that could happen to them and let them figure out a solution.
2. Let your character take the easy way out of a situation only to find that he's made matters worse, or that he just survived the calm before the storm.
3. Do a slow reveal or include a familiar item that keeps showing up.
4. Allow the reader to know something the main character doesn't. If the reader knows that there is a lion behind the door our beloved main character so desperately wants to open the reader will be holding his or her breath each time that character gets close to the door.
6. Build anxiety by using short clipped sentences. Introduce doubt or have a plan fall through.
7. Let your character get close to what she's been hoping for—maybe the first kiss with the totally hot guy—and then the moment slips away or all hell breaks loose.
8. Add intriguing chapter titles.
9. End each chapter in a way that keeps the reader from inserting a bookmark.
The next time you're writing, give one or more of these techniques a try!
Share your tips in the comments. :)