Tone Word: Suspenseful

Definition: A suspenseful tone is evident in a text when the readers find themselves invested in the drama being told and are usually left on cliffhangers wanting to know what occurs next impatiently. A suspenseful tone brings excited expectations and uncertainty, and it is in texts where several times an exciting action/event is followed by another. However, a suspenseful tone can also be present in a story where the action and tension take a hiatus but are aroused again by a major turning point. This tone is mostly seen in thrillers and similar movies, such as "Paranormal" and "Annabelle".

Literary Example: "The Thing" from Scary Stories to Tell by Alvin Schwartz Excerpt

The next thing they knew, the thing was gone. The boys craned their necks and scanned the field with their eyes. Out of the blackness, came the thing. It slowly walked over to the edge of the field before disappearing again.

Trevor and Will looked at each other, puzzled.

"What was that?" asked Will.

"I have no idea," replied Trevor.

No sooner had he said that than Trevor felt a clammy hand on his shoulder. He turned around and found himself staring directly into the hideous face of the thing. He let out a yell of terror and surprise.

The rotting skin on the thing's face was coming off in places, revealing the bone underneath. For a moment, it just stared silently at Trevor with its dark sunken eyes. Then, it suddenly grabbed hold of his arm. Trevor felt his fingernails dig into his flesh as he wriggled out of its grasp.

Visual: Lights Out Trailer

Lights Out Official Trailer -1 (2016) - Teresa Palmer Horror Movie HD

Lights Out Official Trailer -1 (2016) - Teresa Palmer Horror Movie HD

This trailer is suspenseful because viewers are never completely sure when one of the characters will be hurt nor when nor why the shadow of a girl appears.