How to Raise the Stakes: The Ultimate Guide to Building Suspense

How to Raise the Stakes: The Ultimate Guide to Building Suspense

As a writer, you know building a foundation for your story, like a hook and sympathetic character, will allow you to grab readers right out of the starting gate. But once you’ve done this, do you know how to raise the stakes?

While a high stakes beginning grabs readers, it will only excite you and your reader for a few scenes. Without elevating stakes, your reader’s excitement about the plot will wear off if nothing bigger happens. Any interest in your story as a whole will flatten.

It’s human nature. We become inured. But you can avoid this happening by making the path of your book less like that flatland racetrack, and more like a jagged mountain range. With ups, downs, and an overall rise to the finish.

In this article, the word of the day is “stakes.”

As your story’s conflict progresses, the risks to your main character must intensify, keeping the reader invested in turning pages to find out what happens. Once you’ve laid the foundation for high suspense and captured your reader’s attention, you need to up the ante. Similar to the stakes of a hand of poker.

Finding ways to do this is not always easy, but when you put forth the effort, the results can be spectacular!

And there are practical strategies and tips you can use to do this.

How to Make Money as an Author: Important Tips for a Writer’s Success

How to Make Money as an Author: Important Tips for a Writer’s Success

Writing an effective sales description is an important part of the book business. Using the basic pattern outlined above, practice writing the sales copy for a book you’ve written or one you are in the process of writing.

If you don’t currently have a book project, write the blurb for a book you read recently, or even a movie you watched. The point is to practice looking at the story from a marketer’s perspective and writing a description that sells.

Take fifteen minutes to write your blurb. When you’re done, share your blurb in the comments below. Be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers who want to be successful authors! Based on their blurbs alone, would you read the book?

How to Write a Thriller Novel

How to Write a Thriller Novel

A thriller is not just a rollercoaster ride, but like a whole day at a theme park with head-of-the-line privileges. Ride after wild ride with maybe just enough down time to eat a corndog and take a bathroom break. The necessary ingredients for a thriller include conflict, tension, and suspense, all tied up in a nice, twisty package.