When you see a title like suspense, you may think I’m going to talk craft. Or maybe how a book I just read kept me up until 2 AM only to turn out the light when Tom grumbled so loudly that Sammy woke up and needed to go outside. Or maybe it would be about how suspense has no place to hide. Well, you would be wrong. I’m talking about the suspense of the serial.
For the most part, I’m happy with the age in which I was born. Sometimes I wish I had been born later or earlier but really, I’m good. But there are days when I wish was a kid when the movies were done in serial form. Like the Perils of Pauline, shown in weekly installments, the ultimate in cliff hangers. I get chills just thinking of walking out of a darkened theater, the video image burned into my brain, worried about the heroine, angry at the villain, good lord, life does seem simpler then.
When Harry Potter was complete as a series, when The ClockWork Dark series finished, when His Dark Material ended, need I go on? Then I feel sad. I’m sad for those readers who don’t have to wait, who haven’t held the main characters close, worrying about them, wondering what will happen to them, caring for them. Those readers just pick up the next book and Voila! the story is completed. What I look for is the suspense the author meant for the story, the suspense of waiting, anticipating, wondering, hoping, dying to know what happens is just that glorious. Maybe I wasn’t born when Pauline was in peril, but I’m more than happy to be around now for the suspense of the yet to be completed serial, no matter where I find it.