To create excellent prose you need to use the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But to create amazing suspense and horror, you need to also use the sixth sense: your intuitive hunch, or more precisely, your character’s intuitive hunch.
Letting your readers know your MC's thoughts can help them identify with your character and understand his/her motives. It can also add depth to your story. And including the sixth sense can heighten the suspense in your story, which is always a plus!
When a character senses something dangerous is close, but doesn’t know what it is, then the reader’s anticipation and fear grows too. If a character has a hunch that something bad is about to happen, your readers will become as anxious as your character. What is it? What’s going to happen? How bad will it be?
Here are 3 tips on how to use a character’s sixth sense in your story:
1. Give your character a reason to use his/her sixth sense.
You can do this by creating a suspicious character who gives your protagonist an odd feeling, writing about an event that leads him/her to believe something isn’t right, or by putting your character in a place or situation that gives him/her a reason to suspect danger is close.
2. Add suspense!
The best way to make the most out of a character’s sixth sense is to add a great deal of suspense to your story. In turn, your character’s sixth sense will become a major part of the suspense.
Suspense can be created with something as small as a frightening sound that your protagonist hears, or as big as seeing headlights in his/her rear-view mirror and thinking it belongs to a car of someone who is following him/her.
3. Make your protagonist’s fear/hunch real.
When your MC’s sixth sense is in full swing, don’t just brush it off as an overactive imagination. Let the fear/hunch be real, to some extent. If your protagonist senses he/she is being followed, perhaps it’s not a stalker but a friend who is trying to catch up to him/her. When you want the action to start though, that is when the person will be a stalker.
SHARE: Your tips to using a character’s sixth sense.
QUESTION: Has your sixth sense ever helped you?