by Annette Young
When I’m writing fiction, I often try to conjure up exciting and intricate plots that will captivate my readers from start to finish and also keep my own interest in the developing plot throughout. One way that I have found that works for me- especially if my story is character driven, is to add in a little romantic suspense. We all enjoy a little romantic indulgence in our lives from time to time, it lifts the spirits, motivates us and life becomes fun and let’s be honest, those who are experiencing the romantic joys become almost transparent as their eyes shine and sparkle and they send out an intense happy vibe.
Transfer your own experiences of any romantic interlude to your characters too and this will increase their capacity to evoke emotion within your readers and this naturally adds an extra layer to their fictional make-up.
Fiction after all, works best if we use everyday experiences so that our readers can relate to events and character growth. I find that romantic suspense adds new elements to the mix because intrigue and suspicion can bring gripping tension to the storyline.
There is nothing so emotionally distressing in real life than when those rose-coloured spectacles become suddenly tainted with fears and doubts about that loved one. Probably most of us have experienced betrayal in our lives, I certainly have and the fear is often worse than the reality and this can really hook the reader if written with conviction. When I use my personal experiences, I find it adds confidence to my writing and it also makes it easier to write about those situations or emotions if I have already experienced them.
Romantic suspense breeds intrigue and couple the uncertainty and doubts with a few carefully placed red-herrings and you will have the reader wondering just what is going to happen next. You might experience a temptation to make the plot too complicated, resist that urge, it really isn’t necessary. By adding in romantic suspense, you will be naturally exposing the characters weaknesses, fears and making them sometimes react in an ‘uncharacteristic’ way. Providing you have a clear vision of your plot, the uncertainty of the characters will simply add depth to the story.
To make your fiction work, put a little of yourself into your story and capitalise on your own romantic suspense experiences for greater impact.