Tag: #JadenTerrell

Talking Suspense with Jaden Terrell.

We met this spring when you flew up from Nashville to speak to the New York Chapter of Sisters in Crime. You gave a fascinating presentation on craft. Afterwards, you and I had quite the discussion about what makes for good suspense. You were rather persuasive. So, will you explain what you think makes for I-cannot-put-this-book-down suspense? Thank you. Alison. That was a lively conversation, and as I remember, you were pretty persuasive yourself. I’m a big proponent of Donald Maass’s mantra, “Tension on every page,”  and I think suspense is tightly connected to that. But I also think writers interpret it too narrowly. They add bickering, car chases, explosions, and fight scenes in hopes of raising the stakes and heightening suspense. But we’ve all read books that had non-stop action and yet came across as flat or even humdrum. That happens when the writer forgets to give the reader an emotional stake in the story.

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