21 Fast Hacks to Fuel Your Story With Suspense continues . . .

  1. Build an oubliette.

Medieval lords would sometimes construct a simple pit below the castle floor, into which they would throw any captive they’d prefer to just forget. (Oubliette is French for forgotten place.) No screams could penetrate the heavy lid, and the screams were short-lived in any event.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” involves a blood grudge, settled when a man tricks his enemy into joining him in his wine cellar, then bricks him up in a cranny there. The suspense lies in wondering what Montresor has up his sleeve, as he lures Fortunato ever deeper into the catacombs.

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