First of all, let’s get this straight: all books have some element of suspense and that’s great, really it is. The suspense is probably the most important factor in whether a reader keeps reading or puts down a book.The problem arises when it feels like the author is dragging it out unnecessarily. Let me explain.
I was reading a paranormal, young adult novel recently and these are ripe with suspense, cliff hangers, and edge-of-your-seat moments, which are all things I love about paranormal young adult. The problem with this particular book was that the author was eluding to some big event that had happened in the protagonist’s recent past that was affecting her drastically, both emotionally and psychologically, as well as affecting how people treated her. This was all well and good because it piqued my curiosity and I kept reading. But instead of me finding out anything helpful in the next two chapters, the author kept alluding to this event while introducing me to other characters. This kept happening until I started to get frustrated.
Don’t get me wrong. This has probably happened time and time again in many of the stories I’ve read and loved but I hardly noticed because I felt like I was being given tidbits along the way to finding out the Big Thing. I really didn’t feel like this book was giving me anything to stave off my hunger for its Big Thing. When I finally found out what happened I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I hadn’t consciously realised how frustrated I was until I reached that point but once I finally knew what had happened, my enthusiasm for the story started to pick up again.
What I’m really trying to say is that suspense keeps us reading but if an author drags it out too long without throwing us some proverbial bones once in a while readers’ enthusiasm and interest in the book will tend to take a nosedive, at least as far as I’m concerned.
What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree? Have you had similar experiences or experienced something quite opposite? I’d love to hear from you guys.
Have a great day.