Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

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!

What you will learn

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Know how to build tension to enhance conflict, pace and character development.
  • 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.

Who should take this course?

This workshop is for aspiring fiction writers from absolute beginners to experienced authors, who want to polish their craft and compel readers to keep turning pages all the way to the end.

Sandy Vaile is passionate about making sure participants fully understand concepts, so there will be plenty of opportunities to apply what you’ve learnt to your own work, examples, colourful handouts and free resources.


Week 1

  • What tension is and what it’s not
  • Applying tension and suspense to all genres
  • Different types of tension

Week 2

  • Hooks that leave readers wanting more
  • Raise questions and plant doubts
  • Dramatic irony and foreshadowing

Week 3

  • Using hooks at the beginning of stories/chapters/scenes
  • Using hooks at the end of chapters/scenes
  • How to prolong the anticipation and pacing
  • Planting clues and red herrings

Week 4

  • Techniques to pump up the suspense
  • Plot twists
  • Don’t forget setting and atmosphere
  • Putting it all together

What students are saying about Sandy’s workshops

"Helpful, practical and inspirational, Sandy's workshop took my writing to the next level."

"I loved Sandy's dedication to giving the best feedback possible. It's made a huge difference to me already."

“I credit this teacher with a quantum shift in my writing. I can literally see the difference!"

​“I liked the friendly nature of the learning experience.”

Sandy Vaile’s teaching is clear, concise and encouraging.”


Sandy Vaile

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense for Simon & Schuster US and empowers modern writers to produce commercial quality fiction.

Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry. She 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 competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers mentoring and critiquing services.

Also connect with Sandy on Facebook and Twitter



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