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Nancy J. Parra | How to Get Readers on the Edge of Their Seats
Author Guest / July 14, 2014

I’ll start at the beginning. Before you can get a reader on the edge of their seats, the reader must get to know, like, and sympathize with your character. Let’s face it a nameless, faceless woman running from a killer sort of bores us.  It reaches high up there in the “so what?” category. Therefore step one in writing suspense is to  get the reader involved and invested in the character. What if our story starts out with Marcy a single mom with 5 kids who recently left her abusive husband and is working three jobs to make enough money to save up for a small home of her very own where her kids can grow up safe. Already we know there is tension for this woman. She had an abusive husband. She has five kids. She is working three jobs which likely means they are not high paying jobs. As a reader we know that any one of these things could go seriously wrong. We are now invested in this woman. Can she continue to work three jobs? That leaves her about 4 hours of sleep a night and who is watching the kids?  If her parents are watching…