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April 23 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

1 meeting
Genre: Writers Craft 
Semester:
  • Winter/Spring 2022
Time of Day:
Meeting Location:
  • Online
Room: Zoom Room 1

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Keep ‘Em On the Edge of Their Seats: 6 Techniques to Create Suspense in Your Story

Keeping your readers engaged in your play, film, story, or novel is not a technique limited to spy thrillers and who-dun-its. Every story ever told relies on an audience that sustains interest and either keeps viewers in their seats or readers turning pages, whether we are writing a romance, a thriller, or a fantasy.

Before we can begin the journey of crafting suspenseful tales, we need to think about Hitchcock’s take on the subject: “There is a great confusion especially in my particular job between the words mystery and suspense. The two things are absolutely miles apart. Mystery is an intellectual process guessing “who’ve done it?” But suspense is essentially an emotional process.”

There are numerous techniques that seasoned story tellers rely on to keep their audiences entranced. How do you make big promises, and should you keep them? What role do secrets play and how do you maximize their effect?

Join us and learn the main strategies for keeping those pages turning, but understanding this valuable difference is the key to knowing which of the strategies of building and maintaining suspense (as opposed to mystery) will work best for you.

Please note: This class or event will be held online (using Zoom or a similar live platform). To participate, students or attendees should have a stable internet connection. Class participants: you should have a computer or device with a webcam and microphone; and your Zoom link will be automatically sent to you after you register. Check your spam box if you don't see it.

The MuseTeacher: Jean Klein

Prerequisite: Open to writers of all levels of experience