39 Setting the Hook for Suspense
Suspense, doubt, anticipation—they’re what keep us turning pages. Both Eileen Cook and Alice Kuipers write addictive novels for young people. Readers will be perched on the edge of their seats as Cook and Kuipers hook them in. Cook’s thriller opens in the hospital room of 18-year-old Jill who has no recollection of the past six weeks while on a school trip in Italy. Her best friend is dead, and now everyone’s a suspect—including Jill. Meanwhile, Kuiper’s love triangle gone horribly wrong moves back and forth in time between a deadly car accident and the 14 days leading up to it. Our brains are wired to solve problems, to seek resolution. How does an author plant the reader’s path with clues without making the solution obvious?
Although this event is sold out, some tickets may be available for purchase at the door.
- With Malice, Eileen Cook
- The Death of Us, Alice Kuipers
- Creative writing process, character development
Discuss the concept of ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ (or protagonists and antagonists). How do stories indicate that someone is a hero or a villain? Why are each important to the story? Explore some different examples of heroes and villains from classic novels, including characters who are sometimes both in the same story.
Afterwards, instruct students to create a character sketch of either a hero or villain and explain why their character has chosen (or been forced into) a life of heroism or villainy.