To create excellent prose you need to use the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But to create amazing suspense and horror, you need to also use the sixth sense: your intuitive hunch, or more precisely, your character’s intuitive hunch.
Letting your readers know your MC's thoughts can help them identify with your character and understand his/her motives. It can also add depth to your story. And including the sixth sense can heighten the suspense in your story, which is always a plus!
When a character senses something dangerous is close, but doesn’t know what it is, then the reader’s anticipation and fear grows too. If a character has a hunch that something bad is about to happen, your readers will become as anxious as your character. What is it? What’s going to happen? How bad will it be?
Here are 3 tips on how to use a character’s sixth sense in your story:
1. Give your character a reason to use his/her sixth sense.
You can do this by creating a suspicious character who gives your protagonist an odd feeling, writing about an event that leads him/her to believe something isn’t right, or by putting your character in a place or situation that gives him/her a reason to suspect danger is close.
|Oh my gosh! What is behind me? Giving me . . . antennas? haha|
2. Add suspense!
The best way to make the most out of a character’s sixth sense is to add a great deal of suspense to your story. In turn, your character’s sixth sense will become a major part of the suspense.
Suspense can be created with something as small as a frightening sound that your protagonist hears, or as big as seeing headlights in his/her rear-view mirror and thinking it belongs to a car of someone who is following him/her.
3. Make your protagonist’s fear/hunch real.
When your MC’s sixth sense is in full swing, don’t just brush it off as an overactive imagination. Let the fear/hunch be real, to some extent. If your protagonist senses he/she is being followed, perhaps it’s not a stalker but a friend who is trying to catch up to him/her. When you want the action to start though, that is when the person will be a stalker.
For a great flash fiction piece by Yolanda Renee that demonstrates the use and effectiveness of the sixth sense Click Here!
SHARE: Your tips to using a character’s sixth sense.
QUESTION: Has your sixth sense ever helped you?
And now...a peak into A Dragon's Lament, Book Two of the Jewels of Chandra series by my friend, River Fairchild!
Title: A Dragon's Lament
Series: Book 2 Jewels of Chandra
Author: River Fairchild
Format: Ebook and Paperback
Published: April 16th 2014
Magic is real. So is betrayal.
David enters the Fire Kingdom and events shift from bad to worse. He learns a shocking truth about the dragons, a truth destined to block his efforts to retrieve the lost magic of Shaylar from the ruling Council. After a cave-in and injuries force a rescue, David finds himself more isolated than before as personal concerns scatter his trusted advisors and the wizard who led him there abandons him.
The head of the dragon Council negotiates separate deals with both David and his father, sowing further discord between them. David's close friend, Lothan, disappears into the caves and doesn't return. A group of dissidents kidnap Wilks, the child empath David is sworn to protect. With no options left, he accepts the Council's demands to help them in their centuries-old conflict, risking a war which might kill them all.
Even if David manages to win, there's no guarantee the dragons will let him leave the region alive. They don't want the Kingdom of Shaylar to rise again and will stop at nothing to see it remain a pile of dust.
River Fairchild is somewhat odd, brandishes a dry sense of humor, owned by several cats. Lives in a fantasy world. A fabricator of magic. Makes stuff up and spins tales about it. Believes in Faerie crossings and never staying in one place for very long. Speculative Fiction wordsmith. The secret to her stories? Spread lies, blend in truths, add a pinch of snark and a dash of tears. Escape into her world. She left the porch light on so you can find your way down the rabbit hole.
QUESTIONS: So, what do you think of the cover for A Dragon's Lament? And the blurb? You liked it, right? ;)