by Now Novel
Suspense is a critical aspect of writing crime fiction. All the elements outlined below can help to increase suspense over the course of your novel:
Suspense arises from conflict. Before you can effectively create suspense throughout your crime novel, you need to have a handle on its central conflict. The main question of your novel might be answering who the murderer of a character was. You can use this question and the tension it creates as a starting point for building suspense.
Branching out from your major conflict, there may be smaller conflicts that also create tension. The investigator may interview two suspects, for example, who hate one another. Each might imply that the other may have been involved. Suspense may be built around efforts to cover up unsavoury facts about the deceased. Suspense may also be generated as the investigative protagonist gets closer to the answer since this places her life in danger.
Unfolding your novel within a tight time frame is one of the best methods for building suspense. Whether your protagonist is in a 24-hour race against time like Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code or has all of 61 hours to save the day like Jack Reacher in the Lee Child novel 61 Hours, putting your protagonist on a ticking clock will likely make readers turn pages.
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