Ira Glass explains what it takes to make a good story and what it takes to captivate listeners on the radio. But what about when it comes to your blog? How can you create suspense to encourage people to continue to read and to eventually sign up and receive your latest posts?
Here are my top five ways to create suspense in your blog posts (inspired by the above presentation):
1. It’s all in the Details
Building suspense is carried out through the details of a story. What happens in your writing that will make people continue to read? Blog posts need to capture the reader from the very second he or she lands on the page right to the end of the post. The trouble is that people consume more and more on the internet each day and most won’t even take the time to read your writing properly. Creating interest and a bit of suspense is what will get your readers to come back. Writing in a detailed and engaging manner is crucial. Steering clear of superficiality in your writing can also promote suspense. Play on the many intricacies of language, the subject matter you are conveying and the rawness of that subject matter.
2. Keep it Simple
Even though you should pay attention to the intricacies of your sentences and write in a descriptive and compelling way, the ideas behind your posts needn’t be too complex in order to create suspense. The important thing is that you focus on style and how you present your thoughts and ideas in a simple and effective manner. The simplest of ideas can create a stir within the reader and can encourage him or her to read on. Ira Glass uses the example of the man who isn’t wearing his glasses and mistakes a midget colleague for a little girl.
3. Find a Sequence of Actions
As per Ira Glass’s argument, seek out a sequence of actions that can build suspense within your writing. This will help keep readers engaged and curious. Set out a few main points before you begin writing. These points should naturally build tension. Once you’ve come up with a couple of points, flesh these out and consider the climax of the post.
4. Employ a Multimedia Approach
The internet is not merely about the written word. Images and multimedia forms are becoming more and more complex and pervasive on the web. Using a multimedia approach within blog posts can create higher levels of engagement with your posts and it can also create a sense of suspense depending on how you employ this multimedia and how you structure it in relation to your actual words. For example, photo essays are a great way to build suspense by means of a series of compelling images intertwined with text.
5. No Opting Out
Don’t give your audience the choice to opt out of the story at any given moment. Make your writing as believable as possible and draw on real-life events to keep it fresh and original. Make your reader hungry for more. If you keep this in mind throughout every step of your writing you are sure to succeed and captivate the reader!
What techniques do you use to create suspense within your blog posts? I’d love to hear your ideas. Please share them below.