40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 16

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 16 Questions 

  1. Does your current project require suspense?
  2. Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both?
  3. How do maintain fear or tension in your current project?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

creek

Not pretty, but certainly atmospheric: the creek behind my home with muddy rushing water and a mist in the distance.

10 thoughts on “40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 16

  1. Using my book that I’m currently starting to revise for today’s questions. Yes, it definitely requires suspense (don’t they all?), and both internal and external. The how-to-maintain it part is what I need to work on (according to my editorial notes.) I’m trying for subtle foreshadowing without giving anything away, and according to my editor, I haven’t quite nailed it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always suspense of a sort, and heightened external suspense several times in the book. The killer is at large, so that’s an internal continuing fear, plus my protag’s shop was vandalized. The tension can go up and down. We have a mostly quiet happy scene and then zap the reader with danger in the next.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Does your current project require suspense? Some.I do get too reportorial at times and am fighting that tendency.
    Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both? Both.
    How do maintain fear or tension in your current project? The fear is either internal (thoughts) or actual physical danger. Lots of tactical issues for the protag to figure out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, internal and external. Plenty of danger, both physical and societal, all the way through (it’s a thriller). To maintain and heighten suspense, I use both micro and macro tension. There is no sweet tea in this story.

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  5. My historical novel is a mystery set in 1900. The protagonist is experiencing both external and internal danger. I am working on maintaining the tension, which is not always easy to do, by having my protagonist be an unreliable narrator.

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  6. 1.) Does your current project require suspense? Of course, all mysteries need tons of suspense.
    2.) Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both? Both.
    3.) How do maintain fear or tension in your current project? Lots of micro-tension and emotional responses to real-life events.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Answering in the context of the historical I’m working on.

    Does your current project require suspense? Since it’s a mystery, yes.

    Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both? A little bit of both? She’s searching for a murderer and a saboteur, neither of which are “safe” activities, plus she’s pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a young woman in 1942, which is a personal risk (could alienate her family, her fiance, her friends, etc.).

    How do maintain fear or tension in your current project? There’s some putting the characters in dangerous situations (e.g., going to spy on black marketeers at night) as well as having the protagonist act in ways that are contrary to expectations. Will it work out for her?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Does your current project require suspense? Yes
    Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both? Both
    How do maintain fear or tension in your current project? I’m in the planning stages so I’ll work with sentences of varying length. Mix tense scenes with some lighter ones to emphasize the tension and I don’t know the other techniques yet. I’ll be researching how to maintain fear and tension and see what else I can find.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Since I’m writing mysteries, I need as much suspense as I can create believably.
    The suspense is external–as plot points–or internal, as the protagonist tries to figure out what an event means or worries about what can happen next. Sometimes I interrupt an action or thought process so the reader is left hanging for awhile.
    Near the end of the book I like to place the protagonist in a highly dangerous situation that leads to the solution of the mystery.
    Wish I could say creating suspense comes easy to me–I am still struggling.

    Evelyn

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 1. Does your current project require suspense?
    It is my humble opinion that every project requires suspense. Or maybe I mean tension. What I’m trying to say it that, if everything is going along smoothly, it’s boring. In my present WIP, the MC’s father is the main suspect for the murder, so the MC is very much involved in trying to find out what really happened. She knows her own father didn’t do it!

    2. Is the danger in the story external, internal, or both?
    The danger is both, in a couple of ways. I haven’t decided yet if she’ll waiver in her belief that her dad didn’t kill the woman, but if she does, that’s one. There’s the very real fear that he’ll be incarcerated, even if he didn’t do it. Also, in delving into her parents’ past, which is what this woman is part of, she makes a discovery about her father that makes her rethink whether she really knows him or not.

    3. How do maintain fear or tension in your current project?
    The discoveries that the MC makes, and her internal fears. There are also some subplots for additional tension. The sister of her best friend is coming out to her rigid parents. The MC’s brother pushes his new girlfriend at his sister, wanting her to hire the GF in the shop, but the MC isn’t sure she wants to do this. A couple more things: whether or not her shop is making enough money to stay open, having to fire an employee, her mother’s health crisis (she comes down with dengue fever almost as soon as she arrives).

    It’s so good to think these things out concretely like this when I’m at the beginning of my project.

    Liked by 1 person

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