It was Miss Scarlet...in the study...with the candlestick. CLUE - I think we've all played it. And who hasn't daydreamed about being a super sleuth? Red herrings are key components in any mystery. False leads, multiple suspects - these are the things a good writer is strategically placing throughout the story. Debra H Goldstein and Nancy Curteman both had really informative posts regarding the use of red herrings.
I write YA fiction. While OF DREAMS AND SHADOW isn't a mystery, it does have elements of suspense. So, how do I build the suspense necessary to hold my reader's attention? One of my characters was purposely written in a way to cause the reader to question the character's sincerity and motives. By doing this, I was able to add a sense of mystery. The uncertainty helped propel the story to a pivotal moment. Location was another element I used. By having my villain stalking a certain area, I was able to place my unsuspecting heroine in harm's way. I also used a shared experience. While the experience affected my characters in different ways, they were bound together.
Suspense is necessary in any story. It compels the reader to turn the page. I found a great post at Divine Secrets of the Writing Sisterhood titled Ten Tips for Building Suspense in a Novel. It is so worth checking out!