The Importance of Fear in Romantic Suspense
This is an interesting topic actually. It seems a bit obvious, suspense to me means fear is involved. But maybe fear appears on different levels and in varying degrees of importance.
For my newest novel, STONE FALL, fear comes in spurts. When my character is whisked away from her friend on the side of a mountain, she’s of course initially scared out of her panties. But then anger takes over and her fear takes a back burner. As the story progresses there are other instances of abject fear, but again my heroine falls back on anger to clear her mind and let her focus on getting herself out of harms’ way. Of course, the fear teaches her that she can and will stand on her own. She asks to be saved time and again, but finally she realizes that she can save herself. That doesn’t mean that when her hero comes she isn’t a tad bit thankful… well perhaps a ton thankful, but she knows in her heart she can save herself and if she somehow succumbs to the danger around her, she certainly won’t go down without a fight.
So I think my answer to this query is, in my case, fear pushes my characters to be better than they believe they can be. It gives them strength to overcome seemingly impossible odds. It clears their minds, making solutions more easily planned. Although that fear is still hiding behind all the courage, it won’t come out until the terror is behind them. Then most of my characters can let loose that terror when they’re safe again. There’s always a strong shoulder to lean on, a safe haven where they can let those devils out, and in Romance’s case, a happily-ever-after to brush those moments of helplessness aside forever.
To answer the question: I think that an author should use fear in a Romantic Suspense novel to show resolve, character, strength, but never let it be the end emotion. The heroine or hero shouldn’t go down, if they can’t overcome their predicament, with fear the last emotion they feel. “I didn’t win, but I fought” should be their mantra.
About Min Edwards:
Min Edwards is the pen name of Archaeologist, Book Designer, and owner of A Thirsty Mind Book Design, Pam Headrick.
Min works from a small office in her 180 year old Greek Revival farmhouse at Pheasant Cove Farm just 300 yards from Cobscook Bay, an arm of the Bay of Fundy. In the summer she walks on her beach every day, listening to the song of the pebbles being washed back and forth in the tide. It’s a musical and inspiring sound. In the winter though, she’d rather the beach be sand and maybe transported to someplace warmer… Tahiti seems to be most often on her mind.