14 Suspense Story Ideas Rules

Suspense Story Ideas & Writing a Suspense Story Rules to Write By

Want to write a suspense story? If its time to begin your next chilling masterpiece, we have some brand new suspense writing ideas for you. With suspects, suspicions, police detectives, clues, and more, you are sure to find some inspiration with our prompts listed below.

We want to help you set the mood for your next story right now! This is why we want you to can scroll down the page and discover 14 wonderful suspense story prompts. These ideas can help kickstart your creative juices and get you on your story writing way.

With our suspense story ideas, you can create a quick short story or an epic murder mystery novel with unexpected twists and turns and a captivating plot and main character.

Use our suspense story ideas today. (Oh, and be sure to take a look at the fabulous list of 10 suspense writing rules for Young Authors outlined below.)

Take advantage of this opportunity to start creating a compelling story with an ending no one will expect.

It all began on a typical day, as I was walking through the store. Then, he stopped me and told me I had to listen to him closely. He said that my life depended on it.

As I looked down at the body, I thought to myself, It wasnt supposed to end like this.

At first, it felt like a joke, as if someone was playing a prank on me by sending nonsense text messages over and over again. But now, I was starting to wonder if there was something more to these messages.

I began to pick up the pace. The footsteps were getting closer, and I could tell the person or the thing was walking faster. I knew what they wanted, but I wasnt about to give it up.

The trip was a dream come true. I was staying with my new husband in a castle in Scotland. There was a chill in the autumn air, and I felt like there had never been a more romantic place in the world. Unfortunately, that feeling quickly subsided at nightfall. Once the darkness settled in, the ambiance quickly shifted. It was no longer quaint and charming. In fact, it was quite terrifying to be within the castles stone walls.

I found her crying, and she couldnt stop. She could hardly breathe between sobs. As I looked around, I soon began to realize that everything had gone terribly wrong.

I was ready. I was ready and waiting. As soon as I heard the command, my fingers gripped the weapon that was discretely hidden. It was time.

I guess I shouldnt have been surprised. I felt like I had walked onto the set of a horror movie as soon as I stepped into the cornfield. The moon was full, and a misty fog had settled around me. But still, the shrill scream startled me, and my heart began to race. Suddenly, I was afraid for my life.

The first password I tried didnt work. Neither did the second attempt. I knew I was going to be locked out of the database soon, but if I didnt crack the code the consequences would be dire. Time was running out.

The creatures looked strange like nothing anyone had ever seen before. They were everywhere, and it was beginning to feel like an omen.

He was gone. No one could find him anywhere. Can people just vanish into thin air? We were on board a luxury cruise ship, and we had been searching for days. He was simply gone.

I never considered myself particularly superstitious, but when the black flower started growing beneath her window, a growing dread began to blossom inside of me. This could only mean one thing.

They had me trapped. I had tried to escape and for a minute, I thought I was going to be successful. But they were closing in on me, and I knew that this was the beginning of the end.

It might seem old-fashioned, but Im a firm believer in developing film inside a dark room. However, I never expected this to appear on the photograph that was coming into fruition.

We hope these ideas and writing resources will give your writers the motivation they need to create the next greatest piece of crime fiction or a great mystery story. Now that would be fantastic indeed!

So whatever genre of writing intrigues you, be it mystery fiction or romance, just be sure to keep on writing!

When writing my new Young Adult novelGhost Maven, about a girl who falls in love with a sailor boy, I was inspired by the works of Alfred Hitchcock when building my mystery and writing my suspense. Hitchcock was dubbed the Master of Suspense for good reason.

1. The number one rule of suspense is to give your reader information. You cant expect a reader to have anxieties if they have nothing to be anxious about.If you tell the reader that theres a bomb in the room and that its going to go off in five minutes, thats suspense. The suspense inGhost Mavenis what will happen when Alice finds out that Henry is a ghost? The suspense drives the narrative and invites readers to keep turning pages.

2. The golden rule then is to let the reader in on the secret and involve them in the suspense building. InPsycho, the audience knows more than the characters when first Arbogast and then Lila Crane, enters the Bates house to investigate. On both occasions, the audience wants to shout, look out! as the Mother is inside. In the same way, give your reader more information than the characters to build the suspense.

3.A good story should start with an earthquake and be followed by rising tension. Some of Hitchcocks best stories start with a bang, such as the chase along San Franciscos twilight rooftops inVertigo, or the strangulation murder at the beginning ofRope. I startGhost Mavenwith the in deep water and in danger when a kayaking trip in Monterey Bay goes terribly wrong.

4. Never use a setting simply as background. Use it 100%. Hitchcock was adamant that the backgrounds must be incorporated into the drama and made it a rule to exploit elements that are connected with a location. When writing my locations, I also thought about how they could be used dramatically. InGhost Maven, when Alice climbs the Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the West Coast, it twice becomes the setting for her attempted murder.

5. At the same time, avoid the clich in your locations, such as staging a murder in a dark alleyway or at night. Hitchcock loved contrast and would often stage his most macabre scenes in the most congenial of settings, such as the murder-dinner party inRope,or the attempted assassination of Cary Grants character inNorth by Northwest, which takes place in brilliant sunshine inside a crop field. This sense of the unexpected and the idea that turmoil can erupt at any moment will keep your readers on their guard.

6. Keep your story moving. The sudden switches of location in a book are also very important to ensure your readers are alert. I start my novel with a quick succession of chapters, using famous landmarks around Monterey Bay, such as the Aquarium, Point Pinos Lighthouse and Pacific Grove Church. These will become absolutely crucial locations and settings for the action later on.

7. Avoid Cliched stereotypes.Hitchcock has given us some of the most memorable villains to grace the screen. Thats because he avoided the clich through character and made his villains attractive. All villains are not black, and all heroes are not white. There are grays everywhere. You cant just walk down Fifth Avenue and say hes a villain and hes a hero. How do you know? said Hitchcock. Make your villains attractive, so that they can get near their victims.

8. Channel Your Inner Teen. This is important when writing Young adult fiction so that you have an authentic voice.Ghost Mavenrevolves around the many first experiences of being a teenager; going on a first date, first love, and first prom date. Dig deep to recapture those intense feelings to avoid the clichs and stereotypes.

9. Write authentic dialogue, especially if you want teen readers to connect with your story. Capturing the intensity and feelings of being a teenager is vital, where everything seems so exaggerated.But be wary of using slang, which quickly dates your work.

10. In a mystery, you dont need to answer every question, its important to leave some questions unresolved so that the audience will be thinking about them at the end of the book. Hitchcock called this Ice box syndrome, referring to the moment when a couple discusses the plot or something is troubling them, and they reach into the ice box or refrigerator. The mystery at the end ofGhost Mavenis what happens to the central characters. And of course, it opens up the possibility of an exciting sequel.

Tony Lee Moral is the author of three books on Alfred Hitchcock; Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie; The Making of Hitchcocks The Birds and Alfred Hitchcocks Movie Making Masterclass. His new novel, a Hitchcockian suspense mystery, Ghost Maven, is published by Cactus Moon Publications.

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What is Flash Fiction? A Brief Guide and 42 Prompts

Scary Story Ideas for Middle School

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What is Flash Fiction? A Brief Guide and 42 Prompts

Scary Story Ideas for Middle School

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