Get tension on every page with mystery, suspense, and dramatic irony


What are the key compounds available to writers trying to create some firepower? Mix and match these ingredients.


When the reader doesn't know as much as the character, you have mystery.


When the reader knows just as much as the character, you have suspense.

Dramatic Irony

When the reader knows more than the character, you have dramatic irony.

Master the relationship between reader and character

As a writer, your job is in large part about how you position the reader in relation to the story you're telling. You want to arrange your sentences, scenes, and whole story in order to exploit a reader's interest and emotional investment. So the name of the game here is really about manipulating (for lack of a better word) the reader.
Mystery, suspense, and dramatic irony are ways in which the reader relates to the character. They situate the reader differently and thus have different effects on how we perceive the character. Master these techniques, and you'll be better prepared to get the reader where you want them.

How this course works

The course consists of three units (I bet you can guess what each is about). Each unit contains multiple video lectures, sample passages for analysis, and an assignment. Move at your own pace.

Who's it for?

Writers telling stories. Novelists, short story writers, memoirists, screenwriters. The course applies MFA-level analysis to passages of prose, but it remains accessible and easy to follow. It's for writers who want to improve the hook and hold their stories have on audiences.

What's included?

Approximately 12 handouts. An hour and a half of video lectures, delivered in 11 doses. Three assignments. Almost 50 samples from prose passages and video. Invaluable, practical tips. MFA-level analysis.


"Having spent the last 9 years of my life inside college writing courses, continuing studies programs, and an MFA, I can confidently say that Tim Storm is one of the most memorable and informative teachers I have come across. He teaches the art of storytelling from a unique perspective that is intuitive and engaging. If you ever have a chance to take a class taught by Tim, take it."
Ben Reese
Meet the instructor

TD Storm

TD Storm is an award-winning writer and teacher whose stories have appeared in a number of journals. His passion for storytelling and its inner workings inform his teaching, editing, and mentoring. He has worked with countless writers on personal essays, novels, short stories, and more. And he's been teaching since 1999.

Want to know more about TD Storm? Check out the About page for the school. And look at this post on the "Core Tenets of Storm Writing School."

Patrick Jones - Course author

Frequently asked questions

Does the course include feedback from the instructor?

This is an autodidact course, but I offer critiques of homework assignments for 20% off my usual editing rates. If you have clarification questions about any of the material, just email me:

How do I know this class is right for me?

Preview the first lecture in the course curriculum list above, which orients you to some of the base concepts for the in-depth and practical discussions that come later in the course.
You have 30 days to get a refund if you discover it’s not for you, so there’s nothing to lose in signing up. Check out the articles on my blog and the testimonials, and you’ll see that I mean business when it comes to the crafts of writing and storytelling.

When does the course start and how long do I have access?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course—you decide when you start and when you finish. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like—across any and all devices you own.
"I recently told a writer friend that finally after nine years of searching, I had found THE writing instructor. TD Storm gave feedback that proved he had really read my writing. He highlighted problem areas and gave clear suggestions as to correct them. All of his comments related back to what he was teaching. TD is the consummate teacher. One wants so badly to learn to do one's very best, to live up to the high standard he espouses in his own life and in his own writing."
Jan Nelson
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