Suspenseful short story aimed at Australian teen readers Range: 7/20 – 20/20 Average 14.8 Atmosphere as part of creating suspense Settings as part of creating suspense Use of teen protagonists Sources of threat: natural, animal, human Partial resolutions – very satisfying! Flaw Possible solution 1. Too much orientation Begin ‘in medias res’ – in the middle of the thing. Flash back to orientation briefly later 2. Ist person narrative as protagonist: too much confusion; pace of discovery limited Third person narrator focused on protagonist, but who also knows other things - omniscient 3. Present tense writing while running … or dead?! Use it sparingly! Past is easier to manage. 4. Ist person narrator who is safe in present, telling story of former threat reduces suspense Avoid first person narrative voice or choose the perspective of someone other than the protagonist Flaw Possible solution 5. Stereotypical protagonist Build personality: name, quirk, backstory hinted at, interact with others, dialogue 6. Out of time Practise under time limit; keep the scope of your story smallfew characters and events 7. “one trick pony” Show range and control 8. Forgot an element of the task Check the marking criteria as well as the question – often! Suggestion Possible impact 1. Be specific about setting Build atmosphere to enhance authenticity; stronger appeal to audience. 2. Use gender carefully More original characters – raise different and deeper issues 3. Use race carefully More original characters – raise different and deeper issues 4. Layer your threats: natural, supernatural, physical, psychological… More dimensions to your story + easy way to delay resolution increase suspense Suggestion 5. Narrative perspective: choose the antagonist’s point of view Possible impact Emphasise threat increase suspense 6. Integration of other text Draw on other people’s work as types and allusions to other a short-cut to adding meaning; texts sophisticated metaphors. 7. Create dramatic irony – use a narrative perspective that is slightly warped or naïve More gripping story; audience is active in the reading process 8. Study the form: read lots Learn about how other writers of short stories handle the constraints of the short story. Empathy + Threat + Delay = Suspense … = a page-turner = an engaged reader!