Great Danger: A Writer's Guide to Building Suspense by Ken Pelham

Learn the tips, tricks, and techniques of creating and maintaining suspense in fiction.

Great danger: a writer's guide to building suspense

Why do some novels keep you on the edge of your seat, flipping pages as fast as you can read them, while others you trudge through? What is it about the page-turner?

In a word, suspense. The author entices you, hooks you, and lands you. But how? It's not by accident. Learn the tips, tricks, and techniques of building suspense in fiction, and even in nonfiction. In this concise guide, you'll learn what makes suspense happen, why we like it, and how to instill it into your writing.

Genre: EDUCATION / General

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General

Language: English


Word Count: 11,770

Sales info:

I have eight books available online for sale as ebooks and softcover books, and two more currently in the works. My first novel, the suspense thriller Brigands Key, was commercially published in 2012 in hardcover by Gale Cengage/Five Star Mystery, a respected publisher of mysteries and westerns, and has had more than 7,000 copies sold or downloaded.

This book, Great Danger, was published as an ebook and paperback in Summer of 2014. I frequently give lectures on the topic of building and maintaining suspense.

Sample text:

Suspense... What the Heck is it?

Everyone has a good idea of what suspense is, but what exactly is it? What causes it? Most importantly for writers, how do we harness it?

For starters, Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives us a definition.

Suspense (noun): a feeling or state of nervousness or excitement caused by wondering what will happen.

Simple enough. Doesn't yield any real understanding, though.

It's fair to say that suspense is a form of uncertainty. Furthermore, suspense is bound at the hip to fair. Although they are not one and the same, the connection is powerful.

Forget all the hooey from Jedi knights about fear. Fear is in you, they say. Leads to anger and hate, blah blah blah. Be free of fear, blah blah blah. The Jedi are idiots.

Fear is good. It's a natural response to harmful stimuli. It's not there for no reason. Millions of years in the school of biological hard knocks have left us hard-wired to experience fear. It's evolutionary and built in for survival.

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Eugenia Franzoni
Already translated. Translated by João Alfredo Wolf Pereira
Author review:
Very easy to work with Mr. Pereira. He's conscientious about his work and his schedule. I'd recommend him to anyone.
Already translated. Translated by Manuel Alejandro Muñoz Villa

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