5 Tools of #Anticipation

We all know that Alfred #Hitchcock was the master of #suspense. He once said, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Anticipation provides a forward momentum for your story. The main elements of a good plot are curiosity (what will happen), tension (whether it will happen or not), hope (looking forward to it happening) or dread (hoping it doesn’t happen).

  1. Set up character goals. This automatically creates anticipation. Combine it with obstacles to that goal, which creates tension, and you have the perfect foundation for anticipation.
  2. Have your characters talk about the future. Whenever your character refers to a future event, we anticipate it. Is it something they’re looking forward to? Or dreading?
  3. Create a secret plan. When a character says, “I know exactly what to do.” then whispers that in another character’s ear, but doesn’t let the reader know yet, that creates anticipation in the reader. We want to know what the #secret is. What is it they plan to do?
  4. Warn your characters. Whether it comes in the form of a prophecy, a prediction, omens or just plain warnings, this creates the anticipation of #conflict. This is where the real fun begins! And of course, this is foreshadowing, which is setting up hints for future conflicts.
  5. Hitchcock’s favorite tool. Let the audience (readers) know what’s about to happen when the characters don’t. This is where the reader knows the secret before the character does. We want to warn them, stop them from going into the basement or to the meeting in the abandoned warehouse. We know the danger that’s waiting there in the dark.

Need a new #suspense #thriller to read where you can pick out the elements of anticipation? Check out Fine Line of Denial. A #supernatural suspense with a touch of #romanceShe’s a journalist with big dreams. He’s a cop trying to catch a killer. Romance sparks when the tables turn and they become the hunted.

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