Books Essay, Research Paper
In Creating suspense in your writing, John Lutz explains the most important ways to create suspense. First, getting the reader to identify with your character. Next, having a time limit. Finally, creating an atmosphere that fits into the passage of the book. In Anne Rice s The Queen of the Damned, she uses the techniques illustrated by John Lutz, to write a very captivating book.
First, getting the reader to identify with the character. In all writing, this is a very important thing. One way to do this, is by giving the reader more than just a description of the hero and his surroundings. The writer wants the reader think, Yes, I understand, or I ve been to one of those. That way the reader will learn something about the leader and his situation and on a certain level will feel what the main character feels (Lutz).
In The Queen of the Damned, the main character is Lestat de Lioncourt, a very handsome, aristocratic vampire, that has been given the Dark Trick in France, in the 18th century. If the reader has read Rice s previous book The Vampire Lestat, he or she will already be accustomed to the way this vampire acts and thinks. If not he/she will get accustomed to it quickly, because Lestat is very handsome, he s smart, he s very powerful and he doesn t always go by the rules. He also needs to be in the centre of attention. I m the vampire Lestat. The vampire that became a super rock star, the one who wrote an auto biography. The one with the blond hair and the gray eyes and the insatiable desire for visibility and fame (Rice, 1). Although he s a vampire he s also got feelings and emotions. Why did you bring me here? I asked her. It s so painful to see this, as painful as everything else (Rice, 257).
Next, having a time limit in the story. Then, the reader will be on the edge of their seats, not knowing if the main character will succeed in completing the task, before it is too late. That way the reader will want to keep going until the end and see how it turns out.
In the book, the heroes, which are the vampires, try to stop Akasha, the queen of the vampires, to perform her plan. Akasha s plan is to kill all the males, except a few. She thinks this will stop the wars, world hunger and every other problem. Lestat and a few other vampires try to foil her plan before she finishes this action. Since the queen is very strong, the only person that is able to do that is Mekare, a vampire as old as the queen, that hasn t been heard of or seen for five thousand years, but who has suddenly reappeared to kill the queen, because of an oath taken thousands of years ago. This makes the reader wonder if Mekare will get to Akasha on time before she kills all the men in the world.
Finally, generating suspense, through the atmosphere created. The action that takes place and the setting have to fit together. For example, you can t have a vampire
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chase its victim on a bright street filled with people, it has to be a dark, shadowy back alley dogs howling in the distance.
Rice employs this technique in her book in various places, like the vampire Lestat s rock concert which took place on Halloween. Teenagers in Halloween costumes poured in through the doors, lines were forming to purchase black capes, fang teeth and yellow wigs. [ ] A velvet-clad women tossed a great shower of rosebuds into the air above her head. Painted blood flowed down her cheeks. [ ] Hot dirty little arms around Daniel s neck; reek of hasish (Rice, 195)
Therefore, this novel creates terror efficiently using Lutz s techniques. One, getting the reader to like the character. Next, using a ticking clock. Last, having the right setting. Now all Anne Rice fans understand how she creates suspense in her novels.