When characters feel real, the reader will care what happens to them and about the suspenseful situations they encounter. Structure the beginning to create suspense see Brown for details : Create a hero who is both sympathetic and interesting see 1 and 2 above ; Set out the story problem i.
Uncertainty and anticipation are interlinked and create suspense: Uncertainty can be heightened with unexpected twists, sudden reversals and shocking disasters; Foster anticipation by having the characters set out their goals, then by using omens, portents and foreshadowing to arouse unease about the goals being met; Within scenes, heighten reader anticipation by using distractions and interruptions to delay longed-for meetings, confrontations, resolution of an important event, delivery of vital news etc.
Create an opportunity that might complicate things. He identifies the problems his agency sees over and over again in manuscripts and tells you how to fix them. A revelation can change the fate of a character in an instant.
Lead your readers in a particular direction in order to create expectations about the outcome, then throw in a reversal that breaks the expectation. Get every last detail in there and make every single one of them matter to you and to the reader.
Bad weather causes conflicts. Initially, the stakes were established when your hero formed her story goal.
We create reader empathy by giving the character a desire, wound or internal struggle that readers can identify with. Employ romantic and sexual tension.