Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot: 13 Tactics to Create a Page-Turner in Any Genre
All novels, regardless of genre, need a well-structured and engaging plot or storyline laden with suspense to keep readers turning the pages. By integrating these 13 thinking, writing, and revising tips into your writing process, you’ll write tighter, more polished novels. You’ll improve your story’s pace; create surprising, compelling characters; choose a setting that adds intrigue; write evocative prose; and develop a fresh, suspenseful plot. This workshop incorporates lecturettes, exercises, self-assessments, debriefings, and group discussions—attendees don’t simply learn what to do; they learn how to do it—and they practice putting the tactics to work.
Determine whether to use a linear or nonlinear structure, and how to integrate enhancements like bookends and flashbacks.
Use Jane’s Plotting Roadmap to delineate your story’s plot and subplots, including adding in TRDs (plot Twists, plot Reversals, and moments of heightened Danger).
Harness the power of setting—you’ll know how to choose settings that support your plot and theme by converting facts into atmosphere, and reveal the location without an info dump.
Beef up your prose through action verbs and sensory details.
Use secrets, isolation, and other specific strategies to illuminate conflict. (And you’ll know how to choose a physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual conflict to drive your story.)
Assess whether your characterization aligns with your incidents. Would the people who populate your stories really do those things?
Improve your productivity and overcome writer’s block with these tried-and-true, practical strategies.
Who Should Attend: Note: Attendees at all levels, writing in any genre, will benefit from exercises and debriefing discussions throughout the day.
Novices will learn the basics of professional storytelling from plotting and structure to character development and pacing.
Experienced writers will learn how and when to reveal secrets and how to increase the suspense that keeps readers turning pages.
Experts will learn advanced strategies, including exploiting surprise to increase suspense and allowing silence to speak volumes.