Before we begin

This course will consist of short introductory videos, explanations, examples of book extracts, book breakdowns, and exercises for you to complete.

There will unavoidably be spoilers for some of the books we look at. If you really hate spoilers do consider reading the book first, as I will have chosen it for a reason!

Some of the scenes showcased here will contain upsetting content, which is perhaps unavoidable when we’re looking at high-stakes, dramatic moments. Or is it? The use of violence to create suspense is an interesting debate in itself.

Now let’s learn about suspense and how to inject more of it into our writing. 

Reading Materials

This course makes reference to the following texts. Should you want to read beyond the excerpts provided, you could borrow from your local library and/or purchase from your local independent bookshop or online from

  • Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton
  • The Other Hand (Little Bee) by Chris Cleave
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Appeal by Janice Hallett
  • Lasting Damage by Sophie Hannah
  • Joe Country by Mick Herron
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • He Said She Said by Erin Kelly
  • The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
  • The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenburger
  • Into The Woods by John Yorke

Technical Queries

If at any point you encounter a technical difficulty on this course, please email [email protected]

To help us with our troubleshooting, we request that you always include the following details:

  • Which device (PC/Mac/tablet/phone) you're using
  • Which browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer etc) you're accessing the site from
  • Any screenshots you can send really help to help us identify at what point you're encountering the problem, too.

To send a screenshot, hit the print screen button (on PC) and then paste this into the body of the email, click command-shift-3 (on a mac) and then attach the image to the email. Consult documentation for other devices.

We will respond to your query as soon as possible. Please note our usual office hours are 9am-5pm (GMT) Monday-Friday.

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Complete and continue