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Edge-of-the-Seat Fiction: Using Tension to Keep Readers Glued to Your Pages

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First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin
4700 Grover Avenue
Austin, TX 78756

10/12/2013 From 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

 with Gaylon Greer


$99 for members (log in for member price)

$159 for nonmembers

This fast-paced half-day workshop will focus on manipulating tension levers to give readers an emotional roller-coaster ride. Using impromptu exercises and examples from published works, we will explore the nature of tension and study techniques for varying its level to keep readers on edge. We will focus on ways to inject tension into scenes and to layer and interweave tension sources. You should leave this workshop with an understanding of

  • The nature and sources of tension
  • How to ratchet up tension with dialogue and exposition
  • The importance of varying the intensity of tension
  • How to avoids low-tension traps
  • How hooks inject tension that pulls readers into scenes
  • How cliff hangers provide bridge tension between scenes
  • How layering and interweaving sources of tension gives readers a richer emotional experience

Gaylon Greer has published seven nonfiction books and two novels. His first novel, The Price of Sanctuary, was published by Medallion Press in 2009. He holds a PhD degree from the University of Colorado and was a university professor before shifting his efforts to writing fiction full time. He has conducted workshops on a nationwide basis.

NOTE: Tickets are not refundable. For more information on class policies, please visit our Classes page.

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This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to