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Suspense writing checklist KS2 – How to create tension in writing, with examples

What's included?

PDF checklist

Key Stage



Years 3-6


Free suspense story KS2 resource

If you’re looking for teaching resources about building suspense in writing in KS2, you’ve come to the right place. Print out this handy checklist for pupils to help them with their mystery writing. 

Based on advice from nasen education director Alison Wilcox, this worksheet covers features of tension that pupils should aim to include in their work, with creative writing examples to demonstrate what is required.

Features of suspense writing

The checklist covers the following literary devices:

  • Writing about what the main character can hear, smell, touch and taste
  • Using darkness/weather descriptions to add atmosphere
  • Putting in details such as background noises
  • Hinting about danger to come
  • Using punctuation to hold back important information
  • Making references to time
  • Varying the length of words/sentences/paragraphs
Suspense writing checklist KS2
Suspense writing checklist KS2 – How to create tension in writing, with examples

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