1. madeleinefarraday
    Offline

    madeleinefarraday Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Irvine, CA

    Which one creates more suspense?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by madeleinefarraday, Apr 27, 2013.

    Last night I was thinking about how to rewrite part of my short story. In it, scientists involved in a time travel experiment are captured by the gov't but then released. I was thinking about how to get them out of federal jail (their experiment released radiation into the air.)

    In my first idea, the scientist who sets the experiment into motion strikes a deal with the federal agents, to do ANOTHER experiment, so they can see how it's done. The part where he strikes the deal is SHOWN to the audience. The other characters have no idea what he's done, of course. I could write the part where he is interviewed by the corrupt federal officials and show what happens to the reader, or....

    I could just foreshadow that he is involved with the shady feds by showing that he is being called to meet with them. BUT in this scenario, I don't explain what was said or how the deal was reached. THEN, in the climax of the novella, Experiment #2 is under way. Everything is going according to plan...when the federal officials walk in and take over. In THIS scenario, the appearance of the corrupt feds is a surprise (somewhat) to the reader. I did hint that this would happen, but didn't show how it came about.

    Which one would be better?

    Thanks for any insight,

    M.
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Suspense comes from how you modulate the dynamics of plot, not in the selection of storyline.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?. Yjen you will understand how to increase tension by kicking up both motivation and opposition.

    There are other elements to suspense as well. Google Hitchcock and suspense, for starters.
     
  3. Xatron
    Offline

    Xatron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    6
    What Cogito said.
     
  4. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    Absolutely! Hitchcock is one of my favorites. He was incredibly skilled. Movies of his I highly recommend are, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, The Birds and Rope. There are many amazing films by him these are just some of my personal favorites. :)
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto all of the above...
     
  6. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    7,299
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hmmm ...I would say in your first instance, the suspense (for the reader) would come in watching how the other characters react to what the main scientist has done. The reader already knows what he's done. This is how conventional soap operas work. You KNOW what a character has done, but the other characters don't. The suspense comes from watching each one of them find out.

    Your second example would be more of a thriller/mystery for the reader.

    As the others have said, it's all in how you write it, though. I would say if you're more of a 'character' person, you might want to try the first option. If you're more of a 'plot' person, probably the second.
     

Share This Page