en·thrall - verb capture the fascinated attention of.

en·thrall – verb
capture the fascinated attention of.

We all know how to inject pace into our stories, don’t we? Just drop in a lot of exciting moments and space them with ‘scene hangers’. ‘Little did I know that my life was about to change forever’, and the like.

But hangers are clichés. Sure, they’re useful but not right for every story.

So what else can we do to keep the reader enthralled? Turning our every page? And wholly immersed in our story?

Top crime suspense writer Sue Coletta reveals ten tricks of the trade. We can adapt them to any genre!

1. Language itself is the subtlest means of pacing.

Throw away those passive expressions. ‘His head was hit by something sharp and cold.’ Yawn...

Think concrete words.

Concrete words are nouns that we experience through our senses. Example: smoke, mist, iceberg. Use active voice plus sensory information that’s artfully embedded. If you write long, involved paragraphs, try breaking them up into shorter ones.

‘Hail pounded his head. Icy water down his spine. He drew his collar round his throat and shivered.’

Drop in lots of white space.