Hook ‘Em and Hang ‘Em: Suspense in Stories

April 10, 2016 – April 10, 2016

Level 2

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with Rowena Holloway and Sandy Vaile

No matter what genre you are writing, understanding and applying the elements of suspense can help avoid stories being abandoned part way through. Knowing how to create a compelling story question, build anticipation and keep your reader hooked can help you turn any story into gripping read.

In this workshop authors, Rowena Holloway and Sandy Vaile, will help you identify suspenseful moments and learn how to enhance them. They will explore a variety of techniques to hook readers and compel them to keep turning the page: from killer openings to jaw dropping chapter endings.

Participants will:

  •       define suspense and understand its role in novel writing
  •       understand the elements that create a compelling story question
  •       understand the techniques that keep readers turning the page until the end, and
  •       leave with the ability to analyse any story to identify suspenseful moments and enhance them.

Rowena Holloway considers herself a reformed academic. She writes suspenseful, pacey novels about fractured families and killer secrets and her debut novel Pieces of a Lie was nominated for the 2015 Ned Kelly Crime Fiction Award. Her short stories have been included in the Stringybark anthology Yellow Pearl and the 2011 Anthology of Award Winning Australian Writing. Her third novel is due for release in 2016.

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When she’s not devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, Sandy composes procedures for high risk industrial processes, judges romance writing competitions and runs the successful Novelist’s Circle critiquing group.

This is great if you are considering this year’s Pitch Conference.




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