Henry Sutton
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Mystery and suspense
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How does surprise impact on mystery and suspense? This question is explored and answered, particularly in relation to earned surprise. Suspense is considered in relation to fear, jeopardy and risk, along with pace and narrative drive. Also explored is the concept of asking questions and delaying the answers. The use of mystery, and just what it might be, is unravelled with reference to sensation fiction, the uncanny, classic detective fiction and E. M. Forster. The determining genre ingredient of menace is further explained in relation to mystery and suspense. Sub-genres and fusion crime fiction, including science fiction, the supernatural and fantastical are explored in relation to the mystery and suspense drivers. Tzvetan Todorov’s influential, but now dated essay ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’ is explained. Work from Leye Adenle particularly is analysed. The concept of the unexpected is explored, along with ideas of how to include it, and best practice. Using structural devices such as line breaks, chapter breaks are explained, along with cliff-hangers. How to incorporate series suspense, particularly in relation to Georges Simenon, and Henry Sutton’s Goodwin Crime Family trilogy of novels, is explored and explained.

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