- Amp the unknown.
The unknown is a time-honored suspense component, especially useful for horror, sci-fi or paranormal. Stephen King, for one, has built a colossal career by using the unknown, primarily manifested by the paranormal, typified by his gripping novel The Shining.
But I think one of the greatest examples of the unknown as a suspense-builder is in Charlotte Brontë’s gothic romance Jane Eyre. At last Jane has escaped the miserable Lowood charity school, to work as a governess in a mansion with a most sexy master. But—there’s something weird going on in that attic! And that drives the suspense all the way to the end.