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Paula Wynne

Pinned 5 years 3 months ago onto Writing Guides

Writing Thrillers To Scare The Pants Off Your Readers


When I wrote a post on why we humans loved to be scared, I realised that millions of people don't like reading thrillers because they don't like to be scared. But many more millions love, abso-loot-ly love to be scared. Not just scared, but having the pants scared off them.

We'd have to see a shrink to fully understand why we love having our insides twisted and turned and why we love escaping with our fictional characters into suspense filled plots and dark, spooky locations.

For me, there is no other feeling like it!

Hi Consumption says that ... "It’s lingering and pulse-pounding and it makes you feel alive. And feeling alive is good."

So they found a long list of the best thriller movies of all time.

What Is Suspense?

Author Rayne Hall tells us that "Suspense is a feeling – the feeling of excitement, of tension, of fear, the feeling of needing to know what happens next. As writers, we aim to create suspense, because our readers love it."

Rayne's quick trick for increasing the suspense:  Let your protagonist walk through a doorway on her way to danger.

Slow the story’s pace for a moment and linger at the door.  Describe the door: Is dark oak, grimy glass, gleaming steel, or splintering hardwood with peeling paint?  Are there any danger clues, such as knife marks, smashed glass, ominous stains, thorny plants, perhaps even a sign “Visitors Unwelcome” or “Keep Out” nailed to the centre?

Describe the sound of the doorbell, or the weight of the keys in her hand. Finally, describe how the door opens:

By the time your protagonist steps through the door, the reader’s suspense is turned to high volume, intensely anticipating what happens next.

If you want to increase the suspense further still, describe the sound of the door as it closes behind her. For example: The door snapped shut. 

Read the full story where Rayne explores ideas about suspense and thrills lurking behind doors

Scare The Pants Off Your Readers

If you are writing a suspense thriller you will defo want to hear more from Rayne.  I read her book on how to write scary scenes and I loved how she gives lots of tips and advice on creating suspense to thrill your readers.

And if you love to scare your readers and you're writing a thriller, crime novel, a mystery or any other piece of fiction that requires you to write a scary scene, you need to read on. Rayne Hall's eBook Writing Scary Scenes will guide you through the process of creating a fast paced novel.

Once you open Rayne's eBook you will quickly learn practical tricks to turn up the suspense in your thriller or horror novel. Rayne teaches you how to make your readers' hearts hammer with suspense, their breaths quicken with excitement, and their skins tingle with goosebumps of delicious fright.

I couldn't get enough of learning how to write scary scenes filled with suspense.

I don't just want to read it and retain it, I want it to soak into my skin and ooze out of my fingers when they type up my scary thrilling scenes. I want all this juicy scary stuff to float around me so it can jump off my novel pages and scare the hell out of my readers!

If you need to up your game on scene settings (whether scary or romantic), find out more about writing vivid scene settings in your fiction ...

Paula Wynne

Paula Wynne is the founder of Writing Goals. As well as running Writing Goals and Book Luver, Paula is an author with several published books.

Paula's Writers' Resource Series features the following books: Pimp My Fiction: How to Write a Novel with The Ultimate List of Creative Writing Books to Create A Plot & Build Character; A~Z Writers’ Character Quirks: A~ Z of Behaviours, Foibles, Habits, Mannerisms & Quirks for Writers’ to Create Fictional and 101 Writers’ Scene Settings: Unique Location Ideas & Sensory Details for Writers’ to Create Vivid Scene.

Find out more about the Writers' Resource Series here. If you would like to find out how to write a bestselling novel, download a free copy of Paula's Pimp My Fiction.

You may also want to check out Paula's series Book Marketing for Authors.

Follow Paula on Amazon's Author Central to find out when she publishes more books. Or you can follow Paula on Twitter and Facebook.

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