How To Keep Tension High When Writing A Mystery [Mystery Month]


Here is another great post from Rachel Poli’s blog on ways to keep tension high when writing a mystery.

Rachel Poli

Mystery novels are supposed to keep the reader guessing. Mysteries can also be classified as a thriller, suspense, psychological, etc. All categories keep you guessing and place you at the edge of your seat, right?

How To Keep Tension High In Mystery NovelsWhat is tension in novels?

Tension is anticipation. It’s suspense. It’s sitting at the edge of the seat waiting, wondering what’s going to happen next. Wanting a certain something to happen next.

How can you add tension in your novels?

There are many different ways you can add tension in your novels, but here are just a few you can use:

  • Create tension with your protagonist
  • Create tension during a scene
  • Create tension between two important characters
  • Create tension by revealing things to your readers, but not your protagonist
  • Create tension by adding lies, secrets, changes, and/or unexpected events

What can you do to create this tension?

1. Ask Questions

When it comes to asking…

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