Mystery and Suspense Writing

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Pretty much all fiction runs on mystery and suspense, often both. We read stories because we want to know what’s going to happen next—will Harry marry Sally?—or because we want to know why something happened: Why did Sally refuse to marry Harry, despite her undying love for him? This workshop will place a special emphasis on mystery and suspense, derived from compelling characters involved in believable action. To this end, participants will concentrate on character, structure, pace, tension, plot, and the other elements of fiction writing that make stories and novels memorable. The basic format of the class will be a workshop in which participants submit and discuss their own writing. The workshop will also include writing exercises (these help isolate elements of good fiction writing, such as point of view, characterization, and so on), as well as a small amount of outside reading of exemplary mystery and suspense.

About Con Lehane

Con Lehane has published five novels and a number of short stories. His next book, Murder Off the Page will appear in November 2019. Others in the series are Murder at the 42nd Street Library and Murder in the Manuscript Room. Recent stories are in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Teaching Style: Con's teaching style is student-centered and participatory. He believes it's not always easy to develop the voice and craft you need to convey the story you want to write. But it’s absolutely impossible to do it if you don’t start writing—an unwritten manuscript can't be improved, a written one, however rudimentary, can be improved. Be prepared to do a lot of writing and not much sitting back listening. Expect nudges in the direction of some tried-and-true approaches to mystery and suspense writing, much encouragement, and some surprises at what you may come up with.


13 seats available
Workshopnon-member price
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