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Friday 8th January

Friday 8th January 2021

To identify empty words used as a suspense tool


Today, you need to do three things (it tells you underneath how to do them):

  1. re-write the green sentences with empty words and say what you notice
  2. make a list of pronouns
  3. write a scary part of a suspense story.


Make sure you send all three through to




When a writer wants to create suspense, they use EMPTY WORDS.  This is where they don't tell you who or what is doing something - they keep you in suspense.


I woke with a start.  Something was making a noise.  I lay, frozen, unable to move a muscle.  Something or someone tapped on the window.  I turned quickly, but whatever it was was quicker than me.  The noise came again.  Something was trying to get in.  In the pitch dark of the night, I could only hear the ticking of the clock.  But there it was again.  Something was making a strange noise, and it was getting louder. Whatever it was was getting closer.


So the author has used 'something' and 'someone' to hide who or what it is that's doing it.


It makes it less scary if you know that the something is a pink unicorn.  Write out the sentences in green again but change something with a pink unicorn.  See what happens to the paragraph.  When you see someone, write my baby sister.


What do you notice?



PART TWO - Pronouns


Pronouns are words you use instead of using a character's name over and over again.  Listen to the video and write down all the pronouns they use.  You may need to listen several times.


PART THREE - Have a go yourself!


Choose ONE of these scenarios.  Write about 10 or 15 lines (whole lines, not stop half way!)


  • your character is in the house with their friend.  You hear a noise upstairs.
  • your character is driving down a country road with their friend when they see something.
  • your character is playing in the park with their friend.  They hear something strange.
  • your character is in Asda when they smell something strange.


Good writing will:

  • use pronouns and empty words


Better writing will:

  • include WABUBS and FANBOYS


The Best writing will:

  • have dialogue ("  ,/!/?" said ... , scene direction)