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Master one of fiction’s most delicate and important arts
A killer plot is only half the story. No matter what kind of fiction you're writing, knowing how to build and exploit suspense is crucial. Suspense quickens the pace of your narrative, adds thrilling elements of mystery and unpredictability, and makes the difference between a potboiler and a pulse-quickening page turner.
Tutor Claire McGowan, author of the acclaimed Paula Maguire crime series, is an expert in the finer points of suspense. In this intensive one-day course, you'll learn how to use every part of your writing – from your characters to your narration – to keep your readers on the edge of their seats. You'll also find out how to provide powerful conclusions to every build-up, which will leave your readers satisfied – if emotionally exhausted.
This course is for you if...
You're a fiction author who wants to inject excitement and drama into your writing
You've completed a first draft of a novel which you feel lacks pace or drama
Taught by novelist Claire McGowan, this course teaches authors of any genre of fiction how to use different elements of writing to create dramatic tension, as well as ways in which to provide a satisfying conclusion to a suspenseful plotline. Topics covered on the day include:
The two key questions your reader should pose
Four types of suspense
Techniques for adding suspense
The importance of characterisation in adding tension
Adding tension while editing
Claire McGowan is the author of five acclaimed crime novels, including the Paula Maguire series which was optioned by the BBC. Claire is a senior lecturer on the crime thriller MA programme at City University London. Read more about Claire on her website.
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.
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