51 Suspense Quotes | Kidadl


51 Suspense Quotes

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Suspense is a literary tool that forms a crucial part of classic horror.

Whether it is building suspense through a rising slope or dealing with the engaging climax that it leads to, the greatest minds of the world have said a lot about suspense. At the same time, there is an extensive library of literary pieces which have suspense as an integral part.

Many thrillers and horror novels use this literary tool in order to engage the readers. Keep reading to find out some of the best suspense quotes!

Famous Suspense Quotes

These are quotes from writers who described suspense in a simple, yet powerful manner.

“There is no suspense in inevitability.” 

- Damon Lindelof.

“We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story.” 

- Mary McCarthy.

“I think one of the appeals of suspense is to safely explore our innermost fears.” 

- Lisa Gardner.

“In episodic TV you have to keep things secret to keep the viewer in suspense.” 

- David Giuntoli.

“Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.” 

- Mignon McLaughlin.

“I think one of the appeals of suspense is to safely explore our innermost fears.” 

- Lisa Gardner.

“The suspense of a novel is not only in the reader, but in the novelist, who is intensely curious about what will happen to the hero.” 

- Mary McCarthy.

“The anguished suspense of watching the lips you hunger for, framing the words, the death sentence, of sheer triteness!” 

- Evelyn Waugh.

“Life is replete with comedy, drama, horror, suspense, tragedy, romance, mystery, fantasy, and a good dose of fiction. While at times the plot may seem to be lacking, the special effects alone are well worth the price of admission.” 

- Derek R. Audette.

“Vaguely conscious of that great suspense in which we live, we find our escape from its sterile, annihilating reality in many dreams, in religion, passion, art.” 

- Arthur Symons.

“I define a thriller as a big-stakes, multiple-viewpoint novel involving suspense, action, and mystery, in which the reader doesn’t know everything but usually knows more than any single character.” 

- F. Paul Wilson.

“Suspense combines curiosity with fear and pulls them up a rising slope.” 

- Mason Cooley.

“Life is like a novel. It’s filled with suspense. You have no idea what is going to happen until you turn the page.” 

- Sidney Sheldon.

“There's always a bit of suspense about the particular way in which a given school year will get off to a bad start.” 

- Frank Portman.

“I like the idea of building the suspense and taking it all the way up to the very last second with the suspense, and right when you think you can’t take it anymore, then you come in with the joke and kind of break the tension." 

- Corey Feldman.


Suspense Quotes From Writers

Writers constantly seek inspiration from the work of others. They also don't shy away from giving tips to aspiring writers. Here is what some famous writers had to say about suspense.

“Suspense is worse than disappointment.” 

- Robert Burns.

“The Hunger Games has epic spectacle, yearning romance and suspense that won’t quit!” 

- Peter Travers.

“When Reason Breaks is infused with a rare blend of suspense and sensitivity, despair and hope. The poetic spirit of Emily Dickinson shines through the gloom of daily struggles faced by modern teens, as they discover the possibilities where they dwell.” 

- Margarita Engle.

“Anguish of suspense made men even desire the arrival of enemies.” 

- Guy De Maupassant.

“I hunt deer because I love the entire process; the preparation, the excitement, and sustained suspense of trying to match my woods lore against the finely honed instincts of these creatures.” 

- Fred Bear.

“Suspense is irksome, disappointment bitter.” 

- Charlotte Bronte.

“Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement.” 

- Alfred Hitchcock.

“The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life.” 

- Daniel J. Boorstin.

“Real suspense comes with moral dilemma and the courage to make and act upon choices. False suspense comes from the accidental and meaningless occurrence of one damned thing after another.” 

- John Gardner.

“Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.” 

- Kurt Vonnegut.

“Surprise is when a prime minister is assassinated during his speech. Suspense is when an assassin lurks while the prime minister speaks. Balancing surprise and suspense is the job of the thriller writer.” 

- Ashwin Sanghi.

“It [horror genre] never dies. It just keeps getting re­invented and it always will. Horror is a universal language; we’re all afraid. We’re born afraid, we’re all afraid of things: death, disfigurement, loss of a loved one. Everything that I’m afraid of, you’re afraid of, and vice versa.” 

- John Carpenter.

“When the reader and one narrator know something, the other narrator does not, the opportunities for suspense and plot development and the shifting of reader sympathies get really interesting.” 

- Sara Zarr.

“For me, suspense is always harder and better than going for the quick, outright scare.” 

- Gillian Flynn.

“You are the Hero of your own Story.” 

- Joseph Campbell.

“It is a miserable thing to live in suspense; it is the life of the spider.” 

- Jonathan Swift.

“Suspense is torture ... but delightful--or there'd be no gambling in the world.” 

- Ada Leverson.

“…that horrible moment of suspense when the artist shows one of his creations to strange eyes for the first time.” 

- Irving Stone.

“There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against the enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.” 

- C. S. Lewis.

“The audience wants to be attracted not by the critics, but by a great story. You must deliver to the audience emotion – and when I say emotion, I mean suspense, drama, love.” 

- Dino De Laurentiis.

“What keeps readers turning pages is suspense, which you can create using a variety of techniques, including tension, pacing, and foreshadowing.” 

- Leigh Michaels.

“Show me a character whose life arouses my curiosity, and my flesh begins crawling with suspense.” 

- Fawn M. Brodie.

“Suspense is a real tough beast in terms of the filmmaking.” 

- David Slade.

“The suspense is terrible. I hope it’ll last.” 

- Gene Wilder.

“I did know that the book would end with a mind-boggling trial, but I didn’t know exactly how it would turn out. I like a little suspense when I am writing, too.” 

- James Patterson.

“I do try not to spend much time reading in the suspense genre.” 

- Thomas Perry.

“Hitchcock had a charm about him. He was very funny at times. He was incredibly brilliant in his field of suspense.” 

- Tippi Hedren.

Intriguing Suspense Quotes

Here are some interesting and popular quotes about suspense that have garnered a lot of attention.

(Suspense is also a literary genre on its own!)

“Suspense: the only literary tool that has any effect upon tyrants and savages.” 

- E. M. Forster.

“For me, suspense doesn't have any value if it's not balanced by humor.” 

- Alfred Hitchcock.

“If you don't do the suspense correctly, then your jump scares are not going to work.” 

- James Wan.

“That’s the magic of filmmaking, to draw the audience into an exotic world and keep them there and keep the suspense.” 

- Michelle Yeoh.

“I think good suspense and horror is really about creating situations that are relatable, and throwing a wrench in it and watching how people respond to it.” 

- Jason Blum.

“Suspense films are often based on communication problems, and that affects all of the plot points. It almost gives it kind of a fable feeling.” 

- Ira Sachs.

“I like being scared every now and then, I like the suspense and the thrills. Nothing like taking a girlfriend to a movie and holding her hand while she jumps.” 

- Scott Foley.

“To me, romance and suspense go hand in hand. What's more suspenseful than wondering how two wonderful people can manage to get together in spite of the world going crazy around them?” 

- Maggie Shayne.

“Suspense is very important. Even though this is humor and they're short stories, that theory of building suspense is still there.” 

- Sergio Aragones.


More Suspense Quotes

Here are the remaining views of famous people on suspense, and how each of them views it.

“Anguish of suspense made men even desire the arrival of enemies.” 

- Guy De Maupassant.

“Suspense arises naturally from good writing - it's not a spice to be added separately.” 

- Leigh Michaels.

“...that horrible moment of suspense when the artist shows one of his creations to strange eyes for the first time.” 

- Irving Stone.

“Suspense left my life a long time ago, now it has returned. I do not care for it.” 

- Ben Marcus.

“A lot of the best suspense operates on a careful withholding of information as opposed to the doling out of information.” 

- Karyn Kusama.

"A state of skepticism and suspense may amuse a few inquisitive minds. But the practice of superstition is so congenial to the multitude that, if they are forcibly awakened, they still regret the loss of their pleasing vision." 

- Edward Gibbon.

“Suspense is achieved by information control: What you know. What the reader knows. What the characters know.” 

- Tom Clancy.

“Learning teaches how to carry things in suspense, without prejudice, till you resolve it.” 

- Francis Bacon.

“You have to go out of your way as a suspense novelist to find situations where the protagonists are somewhat helpless and in real danger.” 

- Nelson DeMille.

“Suspense is one of the ways you persuade a reader to become engaged and stay engaged with your work.” 

- Marge Piercy.

“One can think effectively only when one is willing to endure suspense and to undergo the trouble of searching.” 

- John Dewey.

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