The Art of Suspense

Blogger Nathaniel shares his thoughts on the art of suspense at his blog, MadLord Innovations:

When I was young I read a whole bunch of books by an author named John Bellairs and they really had the power to freak me out. Now these books were marketed for what I’d call an adolescent audience and so I am not sure that they would creep me out in the same when any more, but I remember that when I was ten or twelve and reading them I was thinking, “man this is some pretty scary stuff.” As I got older, and had exhausted Bellairs’ collection, I moved on to Stephen King. I remember being in eighth grade and reading a Stephen King short story titled “The Boogeyman” from his collection of short stories Night Shift and not being able to fall asleep if the closet door was open even a crack for something like a month.

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Kudos to the writers and directors who know how to stimulate our feelings of suspense because those who are good at it really know how to make us sit on the seat edges, our hearts pounding in our chests, hands clenching the arm rest, with the all around feeling that the slightest noise will cause us to snap and let out a yelp. And guess what, if the artist has done it right, that little noise will be all that it takes.

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