I’ve learned a lot about writing from reading about screenwriting. So, when someone recently mentioned Alfred Hitchcock as the master of suspense, I couldn’t resist looking into some of his techniques. I thought I’d share some summarized tid-bits of what I found that could apply to novel writing.
Everything should be done for the audience. Each scene should affect them, should engage them, and pull them deeper into the story. The characters should tease and make the audience desperately want more.
This might seem obvious, but I, for one, cannot be reminded of this enough.
Emotion is the goal of each scene. Be aware of the emotions coming from the characters. As an assist, think about what musical score would capture or elicit the emotions for each scene.
I love this idea of considering the music that would accompany each scene.
Help the audience to feel as if they are a part of the story or one of the characters in the story. In a suspense film, the viewer should be considered to be a part of the film. Let the audience make discoveries.
A character should be the exact opposite of what the audience expects him to be. Dumb blondes should be smart and rationale. A cute kitten might be a rabid killer.
Ah, misdirection. . . . intriguing.
Alfred Hitchcock once said: “People don’t always express their inner thoughts to one another… conversation may be quite trivial, but often the eyes will reveal what a person thinks or needs. The focus of the image should never be on what is said, but rather on what the character is doing...”
Wow, is this great advice or what?
What do you think about these snippets of wisdom from the great film-maker?