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Elements of Suspense

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by

Parker Holaday

on 19 February 2015

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Transcript of Elements of Suspense

Complication
When the story seems to be going smoothly and is without any problems, complications are used to stop the story in its tracks which creates suspense for the reader. An example of a complication in
This Present Darkness
is when the Police catch Marshall and Bernice breaking into the Alf Brummel's office.

Sensory Details
During an intense scene, sensory details are used to make the scene sharp and clear from the readers perspective. Sensory details are used in This Present Darkness when Pastor Hank Busche is being attacked by demons.

Suspense
In
This Present Darkness
by Frank E. Peretti, many techniques are used to produce suspense (fear, anxiousness, or excitement). Three of these techniques include intensity, complications, and sensory details.
Images
Other than suspenseful novels, suspense can also be produced with images. Here is an example of such an image.
Intensity
Intensity is frequently used is suspense novels, such as
This Present Darkness
, to make the reader feel tense and afraid.Take a look at this passage

Elements of Suspense


"Chains! Links upon links of glistening, heavy chains hung around her wrists and arms. Crooked hands were whipping them all around her. The cold bruising links slapped against her legs, her body, her neck. she could no longer struggle against them. she tried to scream, but her breath was gone."


Slowed pace:
The cold bruising links slapped against
her legs, her body, her neck. she could no longer struggle against them.
In this passage, Sandy Hogan is being
tormented by demons, and there are
two main things that are making this scene Intense.
1: a slower pace, and 2: a vividly described scene
Vivid description:
"Links upon links of
glistening
,
heavy
chains hung around her wrists and arms."
"She kept crying. Marshall took hold of her, lifting her up from the floor, 'C'mon, get up!'
It was just as he saw her hand come off the silent alarm button in the floor that the front door burst open and he heard a voice holler, 'Freeze! Police!'
In this scene, Marshall and Bernice are investigating the conspiracy in the town. Everything seems to be going smoothly untill they are caught by the police. This sudden complication gives the reader a feeling of despair and makes them wonder how the protagonist will get out of the situation.
"Hank stood in the doorway between kitchen and living room, watching and listening. He thought he could feel a wind moving through the house but not a cold one from the outside. It was like hot, sticky breath laden with repulsive odors, close and oppressive.
He had discovered that the clatter in the kitchen was due to a spatula sliding off the drainboard and onto the floor. That should have calmed his nerves right down, but he still felt terrified.
He new that he would sooner or later have to move into the living room to have a look. He took his
first step out of the doorway and into the living room.
It was like falling into a bottomless well of blackness
and terror. the hairs on his neck bristled as if with static electricity. His lips started spilling out a frantic prayer."
In this section, sensory details are used to build up the suspense in the reader before an intense scene. Some examples of sensory details are, "It was like
hot
,
sticky
breath laden with repulsive odors,
close
and
oppressive
," and, "the hairs on his neck
bristled
as if with static electricity."
There are several reasons why this picture is suspenseful. One, is that it uses dark colors that give off a ominous aura. Another reason is that it makes the viewer feel that anything could happen next. These two factors produce suspense.
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