Have you ever been confused by these two writing techniques? Although mystery and suspense often work together, knowing the difference can help us understand which strategy we want to achieve in our story.
Suppose you’re in the middle of plotting or revising. You have your main antagonist and protagonist outlined. You’ve set up their opposing agendas within your plot. But what about the scenes when good and evil aren’t battling each other? Does the rest of the story fall flat? Feel static? Maybe you need more conflict, just not a lot of the same. Different types of conflict.
When I was in middle school, we had an assignment in our English class to read a book and give a ten-minute speech about it at the front of the classroom. *gulp* I absolutely hated talking in front of groups of people, even small groups. I was not only socially awkward, but an extreme introvert with a side of nervousness—the kind of nervousness that makes me lightheaded. I used to think that if I stood very still, like using a reptilian defense mechanism, people’s attention would pass over me (and I could slowly back out of the room). Not so.