Are you looking to write a thriller novel that will keep your readers on the edge of their seats? Writing a suspenseful story can be challenging, but with the right techniques, you can create a page-turner that hooks your readers from the very beginning.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the art of crafting suspense and some of the essential techniques you can use to make your thriller novel more engaging. So, let’s dive in!

Start with a Bang 💥

A great thriller novel begins with a strong opening that catches the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the story. Your opening should create a sense of urgency and tension that hooks your readers right away.

Some ways to start with a bang include opening with a surprising event, revealing a shocking secret, or introducing a compelling character. Whatever approach you choose, make sure it’s something that will grab your reader’s attention from the start.

An intense and dramatic opening scene to a thriller novel

Create Suspenseful Plot Twists 🌀

A good thriller keeps readers guessing, with unexpected plot twists and turns that keep the story moving forward. To create suspenseful plot twists, you need to set up expectations for your readers and then subvert them in surprising ways.

One way to create plot twists is to use foreshadowing. This involves dropping hints or clues throughout the story that suggest something unexpected is going to happen. Another way is to introduce new information that changes the reader’s perception of what’s happening.

Whatever technique you use, make sure your plot twists are unexpected but still make sense within the context of the story.

A shocking plot twist that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat

Use Cliffhangers to Keep Them Coming Back 👀

Cliffhangers create suspense by leaving readers with a sudden, unresolved situation at the end of a section or chapter. This technique keeps readers engaged and wanting to know what happens next.

To use cliffhangers, you can end a section or chapter with a question or a sudden event that raises tension. You could also reveal a new piece of information that changes the reader’s perception of the story.

Remember to use cliffhangers sparingly, as too many can become tiresome for readers.

A dramatic cliffhanger at the end of a chapter

Create High Stakes 🔥

Thriller novels are all about high stakes, with dangerous or life-threatening situations that keep readers engaged. To create high stakes, you need to make sure your characters have something to lose.

Whether it’s a loved one’s life, their reputation, or their own safety, your characters should be facing significant consequences if they fail. This creates tension and makes the story more engaging.

A character in a dangerous situation, with high stakes at play

Use Tension to Build Anticipation ⏳

Tension is a key element of suspenseful storytelling, and it’s essential to build it gradually throughout your novel. Start by creating a sense of unease or discomfort, and then slowly increase the tension as the story progresses.

You can use tension to create anticipation for upcoming events or to generate a sense of danger or urgency. Whatever approach you choose, make sure your tension builds gradually, so the reader becomes invested in the story.

A scene full of tension, with the danger just around the corner


Crafting suspenseful thrillers requires careful planning and execution, but with the right techniques, you can create a story that keeps readers engaged from start to finish. Remember to start with a bang, use plot twists and cliffhangers effectively, create high stakes, and build tension to keep your readers hooked.

A cover for a thriller novel, with the title prominently displayed