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

  1. Make panic your friend.

Although causing a character to panic can be a cheap way to gin up suspense—the victim stumbles and falls, letting the killer overtake him—people sometimes do legitimately panic, and you can exploit that.

A believable way is to build a character who is flawed, especially a person who displays flawed judgment early on. Thus a panic move not only will be plausible, but somewhat expected. That anticipation alone can be suspenseful, and then when it happens the reader experiences a payoff—and a craving for more.

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