21 Fast Hacks on suspense and counting . . .

  1. 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.

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