Strong Characters

All of this foreshadowing and suspense-building, that we spoke of in recent blogs, does little if the reader does not care about what happens in the climax of your novel. The best way to make sure that the reader cares is by creating strong characters that are real to the reader. When characters feel real, the reader will care what happens to them and about the suspenseful situations they encounter. Characters’ behaviour should seem reasonably plausible to the reader.
Building suspense requires mastering some writing techniques. It also requires making sure that you have engaging characters whose challenges matter to them and your readers. Suspense needs conflict and drama to grow. Compressing time or limiting the character’s freedom or means in some other way can help build suspense. Planting false clues via red herrings that leave the reader and characters unsure as to who can be trusted is also useful. Authors writing crime fiction must create a strong motivation for readers to invest in seeing suspenseful setups through to their conclusion.