The story cuts back and forth between the narrator's struggle with the fish and Sheila's incessant talking. How does this heighten the suspense?

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lusie0520 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Suspense is when an author creates a feeling of excitement or uncertainty in the reader.  Authors use suspense to get readers interested in what is happening in the story and to keep them interested.  In this story, the author creates suspense by switching back and forth between the main character’s struggle with the fish and Sheila’s incessant talking.  The reason this creates suspense is that the reader gets interested in what is happening with the fish, but as soon as that interest heightens, the author takes the reader away from the action and has us listen to Sheila’s boring conversation.  In addition, the fact that the fishing part of the story is action-packed makes the reader want to get back to the action once the author switches to Sheila talking about modeling, and hair styles, and where she might go to college.  Taking the reader away from the action just as it happens makes the reader impatient to learn more.

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