Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Honors Project


College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence Sutin


Suspense, Structure, and Point of View: Building Surprise in Fiction is focused on what elements authors can use to create surprise. Surprise relies primarily on suspense in order to function. Broadly, structure and point of view are the two categories of tools an author will rely on to create suspense and build surprise. Examining various texts, this paper outlines many possible routs an author can take to support the surprise of his or her text. In my creative component I rely on the alternating point of view chapters in order to create suspense and eventually surprise. Malachi and Eve observe the same man – the Stranger and Orion – but because of the third person limited perspective that I’ve used, the reader is given the impression of two totally different people.

Solstice is the first 60 pages of a Young Adult fantasy novel, following the protagonists Malachi and Eve in third person past tense. Eve, encouraged by her father to pursue her academic studies, feels trapped in a future she doesn’t want. Malachi, a courier, is hired by Eve’s father to escort her and an artifact to a priest in the city. However, en route, a thief steals the artifact they were to deliver. Following the thief, they encounter a larger plot to destroy the city.








Departmental Honors Project

Included in

Fiction Commons