August 4, 2017

Creating Suspense

I recently came across this insightful analysis of suspense in the opening of the film Inglorious Basterds. In it, there’s a mention of an article from the Psychology journal, Frontiers in Psychology about Tension and Suspense. The authors, Moritz Lehne and Stefan Koelsch, posit six components underlying suspense and tension, which I find useful in thinking about crafting scenes to engage your readers and get your characters into trouble.

I was inspired to put together the cheat-sheet graphic below, and in my Tension Lab course, I use these psychological underpinnings to identify 33 methods of creating suspense. Check out the Tension Lab class.

The six categories of suspense. | stormwritingschool.com

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About TD Storm

TD Storm is an award-winning writer and teacher whose stories have appeared in a number of journals. His passion for storytelling and its inner workings inform his teaching, editing, and mentoring. He has worked with countless writers on personal essays, novels, short stories, and more. And he's been teaching since 1999.

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Hooking the reader, Tension

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