Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Create Page-Turning Tension

How to hook and retain readers by exploiting uncertainty

Have you been told your character isn’t engaging or that ‘special something’ is missing from your story?

The Create Page-Turning Tension workshop is for fiction writers who want to hook readers and compel them to keep turning pages all the way to the end.

Uncertainty is the ultimate weapon against readers abandoning your story, because it exploits their innate curiosity. Learn what readers need from you to fully commit to a story, so you can squeeze every bit of emotional angst from your characters.

You’ll be writing angst-ridden tension in no time!

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Know how to build tension to enhance conflict, pace and character development.
  • Know when to release information for the maximum effect.
  • Develop hooks, from killer openings to cliff-hanger endings.
  • Appreciate the role of emotions in creating tension.
  • Identify opportunities to increase uncertainty.

This workshop suits beginners to intermediated writers who want to compel readers to keep turning pages all the way to the end.

There will be plenty of examples, colorful presentations with handouts to keep, exercises to practice on, personalized feedback, and opportunities to apply what you’ve learnt to your own work.

Curriculum includes:

  • What tension is and why it’s important
  • Applying tension/suspense to all genres
  • Different types of tension 
  • Hooks that leave readers wanting more
  • A host of tension-generating techniques to choose from
  • Beginnings (stories/chapters/scenes) that grab you
  • Ending (stories/chapters/scenes) that keep you turning pages
  • Techniques to pump up the suspense
  • Pacing your tensions


What students are saying about Sandy’s workshops

“I credit this teacher with a quantum shift in my writing. I can literally see the difference! I’ve learnt so much from you over the last twelve months and my writing just goes from strength to strength working with you.” Nina Campbell

“I am excited that I can see the issues and finally understand where to focus.” Jane Lee

“You are the only course teacher I’ve stayed in contact with and one of the reasons is because you adopt your students like little writing baby ducks. It’s awesome to have you in my corner.” Mindy Graham

“Sandy is unfailingly kind, sharp and able to explain everything in a way that enabled me to apply it immediately to my work.” Ava January “Love, love, love this class! Highly recommend it and worth every penny. I appreciate how Sandy broke each aspect down and provided examples. She was very involved in providing quality feedback and asking great questions that spurred me to think deeper about my WIP.” EmilyK150


Sandy Vaile

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there are a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense for Simon & Schuster US and empowers modern writers to produce novels they can be proud of (and that get noticed by agents and publishers).

Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry, and prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material and apply it to their own work.

In her spare time, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges writing competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers coaching and critiquing services.

Also connect with Sandy on Facebook and YouTube.




Mind Blown

July 9, 2022

In a no nonsense, straight forward way, Sandy shows, rather than tells, how to increase tension in our writing. She made something I thought difficult exceptionally simple. I highly recommend completing all of the assignments to get Sandy's valuable feedback. She managed to blow my mind.

Jacque Duffy


November 2, 2021

Sandy teaches tension in every way possible to get your manuscript to that heart pounding level

Debbie Stein

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© 2024 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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