Modulating suspense

Consider these example stories.

In a small group, rate the suspense of each section of Boyle’s story on a scale from one to ten.

  • Discuss you’ve noticed about the modulation of suspense.

As an individual, chart the suspense in William’s story, then Kemper’s, then Woodman’s.

  • In a pair, compare your charts. Account for differences and similarities.

Finally, in a small group chart the suspense in Bender’s story.

What techniques or strategies does this suggest for modulating suspense in your own work?


Remember Percy’s suspense-o-meters can be part of planning/pre-writing, but they can also be useful when revising.

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