suspense n.
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SUSPENSE PowerPoint Presentation


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  1. SUSPENSE • Not all suspense stories contain a mystery But • all mystery stories must contain suspense

  2. SUSPENSE • Is a feeling of CURIOSITY, ANXIETY or UNCERTAINTY about the outcome of events

  3. SUSPENSE IS CREATED • Through the PLOT dramatic irony (the reader wonders if the character will discover the truth before it’s too late), unexplained occurrences, intensifying conflict • Through the SETTING • Through the CHARACTERS words, actions, in risky/tense situations

  4. A MYSTERY • Is a story of SUSPENSE that USUALLY contains a CRIME, a CRIME-SOLVER, a CRIMINAL, SUSPECTS, and KEY DETAILS such as CLUES, alibis, and motive


  6. PLOT • In a mystery the SEQUENCE OF EVENTS (PLOT) may be given out of order as clues are discovered. • So, you MUST keep track of events on a timeline in the order they occur - NOT necessarily in the order told in the story.

  7. SETTING • In a mystery, the SETTING (where, when, conditions, etc) is VERY IMPORTANT • It will often include CLUES to solving the mystery.

  8. IN LITERATURE, CHARACTERS ARE: • Revealed using DIRECT CHARACTERIZATION (the reader is told what the character is like) or INDIRECTCHARACTERIZATION (the reader must infer what the character is like) • Either ROUND (having many identifiable traits) or FLAT (having few identifiable traits) • Either DYNAMIC (changes as a result of the conflict) or STATIC (does not change)

  9. CHARACTERS • In a mystery the reader MUST keep track of the characters’ traits, actions, words because all of these things can be clues to explaining MOTIVE and ALIBI(in a crime situation), and to solving the mystery.

  10. SUSPECTS • ANYONE can be a SUSPECT. • You need to analyze each character as a good suspect or unlikely suspect based on their: • MOTIVE (reason for committing the crime) • ALIBI(excuse as to why they couldn’t possibly have committed the crime)

  11. CRIME • The CRIME is the “what happened to whom” part of the mystery. • Remember - a crime is NOT always a murder or other gory act of violence. • In some mysteries, the CRIME may be replaced by an unexplained occurrence.

  12. THE CRIME-SOLVER • The CRIME-SOLVER is the person in the story responsible for figuring out what happened to whom and why. • The CRIME-SOLVER generally has very specific, unique character traits that set him or her apart from the rest of the characters. • The CRIME-SOLVER is usually ROUND and DYNAMIC.

  13. A GOOD DETECTIVE • Is logical • Keeps track of EVERY detail • Makes charts, graphs, notes • Uses the charts, graphs, notes to organize thinking in order to solve the mystery

  14. CRIMINAL • The CRIMINAL is the person responsible for the crime. • Usually the CRIMINAL is on the list of suspects but has a weak alibi coupled with a strong motive. • In the end, it must be clear to the reader how and why the CRIMINAL acted as he did.

  15. CLUES TO THE RESOLUTION • NOTHING in a mystery is too small to ignore. • EVERYTHING is a potential CLUE to the resolution. • It is IMPORTANT for you to keep track of EVERY DETAIL in order to decide what are KEYDETAILS that will help you come to a logical conclusion at the end of the mystery.