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Building Suspense in Writing



Ashley Kalagian Blunt




Suspense-filled writing has the power to hook readers from the first page and propel them through your narrative. While it’s most associated with – and essential to – mystery, thriller and horror stories, suspense can heighten any narrative, whether fiction or non-fiction. Think of The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and even the memoir Rattled by Ellis Gunn. This practical workshop includes discussion and exercises designed to give you confidence in crafting suspenseful stories.
A photo of Ashley Kalagian Blunt.


This workshop will take place online. Detailed instructions for participation will be provided.

You Will Learn:

· build suspense at the macro and micro levels of narrative, whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction 

· analyse the components of suspense through readings and discussion 

· differentiate suspense, mystery and dramatic irony as aspects of narrative drive 

· understand and apply the three narrative modes: scene, summary and reflective narration 

· use five-part scene structure to craft dynamic, suspense-filled scenes 

About the Tutor:

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of Dark Mode, an internationally published psychological thriller. Her earlier books are How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, collected fiction and essays, which was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Ashley co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, a podcast about writing, creativity and health, and teaches creative writing. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico. 

Not a Member?

Members of Writers Victoria receive up to 37% off the full price of our workshops, seminars and courses. In addition, members have access to a range of other discounts and opportunities and receive a subscription to 'The Victorian Writer' magazine. Memberships start from just $50. Find out more about becoming a member here.

Book early to access our early bird prices! These expire 9 days before the course begins. Please keep in mind that our workshops require a minimum number of participants to run, so booking early also helps ensure that a workshop will go ahead. 

Cancellation Policy




Phone: +61399178461
Email: [email protected]

Registration for this event ended on 25 August 2023 - 4:00
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