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New Member
Right now, I am writing a fantasy story. Things are buiding up, but I want things to be in the dark right now. How do I keep the mystery while making things interesting?


What I do is to have mysterious events happen that engage the reader. Since he wants to know where all this is headed, the protagonists must uncover clues that gradually lead to a solution. That can be very entertaining, given compelling action and lifelike characters.


Myth Weaver
Expanding on TWErvin, just keep the story in the frame of the what the POV characters or their immediate circle know. If some one cuts the outside telephone cord, for instance, those inside just know the line is dead. Until someone goes to look, they just dont know why exactly the phones are dead.

Tension can be built up if there is reason to fear going outside, and yet, someone has to go check/fix it.
I'm not completely certain on what level you need help.

If you don't want your reader to know something, then don't write that down. It's probably best if you have a valid reason for not writing it down. Usually that is because your characters don't know.

For things to be interesting, your readers need to have some idea of where you're going. And that destination and the steps to get there need to be interesting. This you signal to your reader. "We have problem X and we're trying steps A, B and C to solve it". That sort of thing.

If you're writing a horror story, and you have some reason for your characters to need to make a phone call, the pmmg has a great example of tension building together with something unknown. Something as simple as "I promissed my parents I'd call to tell them I arrived safely in the woods" is fine as a reason for a phonecall. Your character then learns the phone is dead. because it's horror, your readers will know you're not supposed to go out alone. One of your characters does so anyway. Instant tension and mystery. Even more so if the character doesn't return or returns after feeling spied upon and that someone damaged the phone line.

The reader doesn't know much about what is going on, because you haven't told them. But they know what sort of plot you're getting into and what sort of obstacles they're going to see. You put up a big signpost pointing them to what is about to come.