The main event is what the story is really
about. It is the central problem, conflict,
struggle or adventure that changes the main
character in some way. It is the situation that
forces the main character to grow or learn
That night we went back to the house. When we saw
Helen stoner’s light, Holmes and I got in quietly through
the window. Then we waited silently in the middle
bedroom in the dark. We waited for three hours and did
not move. Suddenly we saw a light and heard a sound
from Dr. Roylott’s room. But nothing happened, and
again we waited in the dark. Then there was another
sound, a very quiet sound… Immediately Holmes
jumped up and hit the bell-rope hard.
“Can you see it Watson?” he shouted. But I saw nothing.
There was a quiet whistle. We both looked up at the air
vent, and suddenly we heard a terrible cry in the next
room. Then the house was silent again.
“What does it mean?” I asked. My voice was shaking.
“It’s finished,” answered Holmes. “Let’s go and see.”
We went into Dr. roylott’s room. The metal box was open.
Roylott was sitting on a chair, and his eyes were fixed on
the air vent. Round his head was a strange, yellow
speckled band. It was a snake. He was dead.
1. Types of dialogue:
• 1 sentence from each character.
• Half or full page dialogue.
• Prolonged dialogue.
• External or outer dialogue. (Outer dialogue
refers to the conversations spoken between
• Internal or inner dialogue. (Inner dialogue
refers to the words spoken by a character to him/
• Should provide information.
• Should provide personal information about
the characters. (Personality, hobbies...)
a. Exclamation (using exclamations and
interjections to express the thoughts of the
b. Question-Action/Description-Response (the
first character asks a question followed by a
related action then a response by the other
c. Conversation (a longer exchange of action,
thought and description between two characters.)
“There is no terror in the bang, only in the
anticipation of it.” Alfred Hitchcock.
Suspense is the nail biting, edge-of-your-seat
kind of magic that compels a reader to turn the
page, finish the chapter and devour a book!
In order to build suspense, the author must
create some uncertainty, anxiety, doubt and
apprehension. The author already knows what is
going to happen, who is behind the door, what is
making the spooky sound, and to whom the
mysterious foot steps belong. The trick is not to
give it away too soon!
“Suddenly she froze. There was something
coming up the street on the opposite side.
It was something black…something tall and
black…Something very tall and very black
and very thin.”
One of the easiest, most effective ways to
build a sense of suspense is by raising story
questions. This can be done in a number of ways,
all of which involve “getting inside” the main
character’s head and viewing the story situation
from the character’s point of view. This enables
the reader to wonder along with the main
Word Referents are words that stand for other words. This
technique teases the reader by holding back some piece of
critical information. The reader reads on to discover the
Example of how to use Word Referents:
“Daniel froze. It loomed over him, at least seven feet of matter
brown fur. It snarled and swatted at him with heavy powerful
claws. Daniel stared, horrified at its yellowed teeth visible
behind its curled-back snout. The beast came closer and
closer to him and Daniel backed up, afraid to turn his back for
Hint #1 – Raise a story question by getting inside
the main characters mind!
Hint #2 – Slow down the action and use five
Hint #3 – Discovery! The main character discovers
what is happening!
a. DEFINEDEFINE the skill by reading examples to the
class and the techniques for implementing it.
b. MODEL the skill for SS by starting with a
boring, give-it-away-too soon example and
revising it using each technique.
c. Provide GUIDED PRACTICE so students can
try it by themselves.
Be the first to comment
Login to see the comments
Oct. 20, 2014
May. 7, 2015
Apr. 13, 2020
this is a powerpoint presentation on how to help your students develop suspense in their writing. enjoy!