How does suspense arise in a crime story?

Where does the suspense in a crime novel come from? Why do we find a thriller exciting? There is no single answer to this question, because suspense comes from many elements. Let’s start with the exciting milieu in which the viewer is immersed through the characters (a talented scientist as the victim, a cunning multimillionaire as the suspect, etc.). Crime writers like to use themes and milieus that are currently “in” or that are much talked about. But that alone is not exciting enough.

Further exciting moments are awakened for example by an interesting, unexplainable murder (curiosity), by an initially sympathetic person who is the victim (compassion), furthermore by an interesting character of the investigator and finally by excitingly designed plots, of which you will get to know many here.

I would like to present some stress factors in an overview:

1. it is exciting when the investigator does not immediately reach his goal.

2. it is exciting when the truth comes to light in slices. So when more and more truths about the crime and the perpetrator are found out and not all at once. (Slow revelation of the truth.)

3. it is exciting when the investigator is in danger. This happens through an exciting action. Someone is being followed and the investigators are ambushed, for example. 

4. exciting is always a duel, a duel in which there is a winner and a loser.

5. a competition between two investigators who have to work together, for example, can also be exciting.

6. the character of the investigator or the perpetrator can be exciting.

7. it can be exciting to find out why, for example, a universally loved person is killed. (motive)

8. exciting is when the case is difficult or unsolvable (Can the investigator handle it?)

9. it is exciting when the commissioner is under pressure (Will he solve the case within the tight time limit?) for example, the superior or the offender gives him an ultimatum.

10. exciting is an unknown milieu, which we do not know yet and which we enter through the narrative.

If you follow some or all of these tension rules, you will increase the chance that your story will be successful.

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