Writing with Page Turning Tension: How to Craft a Story Your Reader Can't Put Down

Writing with Page Turning Tension: How to Craft a Story Your Reader Can't Put Down

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  • You are a writer who wants to tell the best story possible
  • You are a writer who wants to push their work to the next level
  • You are a writer who has just begun a draft
  • You are a writer who has finished a draft
  • You are a writer who feels that parts of their story aren't working


Every reader picks up a book with the expectation of being instantly absorbed and unable to put the book down. When a book succeeds at this, it's full of tension. Tension in novels, stories, and even memoirs is like the connective tissue that allows muscles to attach to bones, and thus flex their might. It's the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It keeps readers guessing, and characters on their toes. When you've got it in place, stories leave readers breathless and wanting more. When it's missing, scenes feel inconsequential, plots drag, characters meander, and readers report they're bored.

Jordan Rosenfeld, a freelance journalist, author and editor, has published five writing guides and three novels. She's spent years taking stories apart and analyzing them to demystify the crucial inner workings of good story, so you can build them.

In this presentation Jordan Rosenfeld walks you through the key areas that need tension building, from character to plot, but it also delves deeper, to the subterranean places in a story where tension is often lacking: into the inner conflicts of a character's deepest psyche, to the breath beats between the very words you write, to the mechanics of how you reveal information to the reader.


  • The key elements of tension
  • How compelling goals create character tension
  • How to work with character flaws to create inner tension
  • How to insure you've got a tense inciting incident
  • How to tighten the tension of your plot's energetic markers
  • Ways to balance scene elements for maximum tension
  • Simple ways to create sentences that sing
  • How to build powerful images
  • Ways to work in thematic tension


Jordan Rosenfeld is author of Writing the Intimate Character, Writing Deep Scenes (with Martha Alderson), A Writer's Guide to Persistence, Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, all Writer's Digest books, as well as Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life (BeijaFlor Press, with Rebecca Lawton) and the novels Women in Red (Booktrope), Forged in Grace and Night Oracle (Indivisible Ink). She is a former contributing editor to Writer's Digest magazine and her many publications include The Atlantic, Mental Floss, the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, The Writer magazine and many more.

Jordan holds an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College, and has worked as an editor and writing coach for nearly 20 years through her business “Write Livelihood."

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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