BUILDING THE DOOR & THE 7 C's OF SUSPENSE
When a story is slow, we sometimes think we need to make more things happen, but, really, what we need to do, is make more promises. Suspense equals worry, and it occurs in the quiet space between the promise of something dreadful (or wonderful) and its arrival (or failure to arrive). We'll talk about creating characters we care about and putting them in trouble. We'll talk about the closed door, Nolan's bug, Hitchcock's bomb, and Gorey's alphabet. About abstract adjectives, telling details, protecting the unknown (even as we reveal it), and why King calls horror "the art of disappointment." We'll talk, too, about deemphasizing the climax and sustaining apprehension beyond the last word. About getting under the reader's skin. About the story balloon (the pop, the fart, and, worst of all, the pinhole leak). About Creepypasta and The Dog’s Lick. We’ll talk about broken sharks, dented helmets, waxpaper boats, Sebastian Shaw, and that half-smile at the end of Psycho. Plus: cold duck, Giger’s Big Chap, and three ways to fire a rubber band.