Write a Hit Novel or Script Using The Secrets of SUSPENSE!

You will be able to write stories that your audience can't stop reading or watching!
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  • Lectures 41
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

Writers: learn the keys to breaking your story into scenes that grip your audience's attention irresistibly.

Learn The Secrets to Hooking Your Audience

  • Learn what plot is, and how to create it. (It's not what most people think it is.)
  • Learn what suspense is, and how to build it into your story.
  • Master act structure
  • Beat the dreaded "Second Act Slog"
  • Discover how to build your plot and suspense into scenes that hook your audience
  • Use the same methods that made my show EARLY EDITION a hit prime-time CBS TV series seen in 73 countries around the world

Master Story-Breaking

All writers need to break a story into scenes that maintain plot and suspense. In Hollywood, this is called "Story-Breaking". Mastering story-breaking is a cornerstone of success in all forms of fiction writing including novels, screenplays, tv episodes, stage plays, and YouTube videos.

I have discovered secrets of story-breaking over many years of hard work. They enabled me to create the hit CBS TV series EARLY EDITION. While they took years to discover, I can teach them to you in a matter of hours.

Examples are very important. This course is packed with many examples from perfectly structured films.

Break Your Own Story

Included worksheets walk you through applying everything you learn in this class to breaking your own story. The worksheets are in special Adobe Acrobat files that you download for free. You can click and type right on the worksheet. No need to print them out and fill them in by hand. Open them with the free version of Adobe Acrobat for Windows or Mac.

What are the requirements?

  • Make sure you have an idea for your next story. You will be able to create your outline for it as you go through this course!
  • The only software you'll need is free software for reading Acrobat files: the free version of Adobe Acrobat for Windows or Mac.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Plot a story like a pro. You will learn:
  • What PLOT is, and how to create it.
  • What SUSPENSE is, and how to create it.
  • What ACT STRUCTURE is and what belongs in each Act of your story.
  • Vik's secret to beating the dreaded "Second Act Slog"
  • How to break your stories into scenes that move your plot forward so that your story holds the audience's attention and never lets go.
  • How to add scenes that move your suspense forward so that your audience is irresistibly gripped.

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginning, intermediate, and even the most advanced writers can benefit from the keys to story-breaking that I have developed over many years of hard work.
  • Writing a novel, screenplay, stage play, TV episode, short story, short film, or YouTube video? This course is for you.
  • Have you always wanted to write, but don't know where to start? This course will light up your path like an airport runway.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Learn The Secrets of Creating Your PLOT!

Welcome! This lecture explains what you will get out of the course, and walks you through the curriculum.


This lecture jumps right in to the first exciting topic: what PLOT is and how to create it! Here you will discover that plot is NOT what most people think it is at all.


One sentence will describe what plot is and enable you instantly to begin creating plot for your own story.


Here you will learn the 4 essential elements of PLOT.


Examples are so important. Here we look at clips from an adorable animated Disney film, PLANES, that does a beautiful job of setting up PLOT in its first few minutes.


Examples from ANCHORMAN 2 show PLOT being created in a comedy.


The Suspense Guru keys to creating plot work in every genre. Examples from LES MIZ show how plot is created in a musical drama.


The framing story of TITANIC provides great examples of how plot is created.


There's one more AMAZING thing you will learn in this lesson!


The most important decision you will make when starting your story is to select the STYLE. Style is different than genre. There are hundreds of genres, but only 11 styles. Here you will learn exactly what they are. What effect do you want to have on your audience?

1 page

Here are the detailed descriptions of each of the 11 STYLES.


Here is where we recap everything you learned in this section!


Vik walks you through the first worksheet. This worksheet is carefully constructed to help you apply what you are learning to your own story. By answering a few Suspense Guru questions about your story, you will already be launched into breaking your story like a pro!

3 pages

This is the worksheet for section 1. In the resources you will find a special downloadable file containing this worksheet. It will open in the free versions of Adobe Acrobat for Windows or Mac. (Mac users: use the free version of Acrobat instead of Mac's Preview app). You can click and type directly into that file! No need to print out the worksheet and write on it by hand—although you can certainly do that if you wish.

Section 2: Learn the Secrets to Creating SUSPENSE!

It will only take a single sentence for the Suspense Guru to tell you what SUSPENSE is and empower you to instantly begin developing it for your own story.


Examples from PLANES show how SUSPENSE is added in one vivid scene!


Here we see how TITANIC builds SUSPENSE!


Examples from ANCHORMAN 2, show that Vik's principle of creating SUSPENSE works in any genre, even comedy.


Can a course in suspense leave out an example from the master of suspense, Hitchcock? I DON'T THINK SO!


Now you are ready to learn the one essential element of SUSPENSE!


Here we recap and review everything from this section.


Vik walks you through the worksheet for Section 2. Answering two Suspense Guru questions enables you to create your SUSPENSE!

1 page

As before, download the click-and-type version of this file from the resources!

Section 3: Secrets of ACT STRUCTURE

Introduction to Act Structure. What belongs to each of the three acts—Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3?


You will learn the secrets of ACT STRUCTURE.

  • What belongs in each Act
  • How to identify when Act 1 ends and Act 2 begins
  • How to identify when Act 2 ends and Act 3 begins

Joss Whedon, writer and director of AVENGERS 1 and AVENGERS 2, said THE MATRIX is "perfectly structured." That makes it perfect to use here as an example of ACT STRUCTURE. Make sure to see THE MATRIX before viewing this lesson, because there are spoilers ahead!

Section 4: Story-Breaking for PLOT!

Now that you know Act Structure, you are ready to learn how to break your story into scenes that carry your plot forward in every scene, capturing and holding your audience's attention!


The worksheet walkthrough. Here you will start breaking your own story into scenes, using what you've learned!

6 pages

As before, download the click-and-type file from the resources.

Section 5: Story-Breaking for SUSPENSE!

Now you are ready to learn how to add scenes that carry your SUSPENSE forward and make your story irresistible.


Examples from THE MATRIX illustrate story-breaking for SUSPENSE!


Now-- Vik's secret to beating the dreaded "Second Act Slog"!


Vik walks you through the worksheet for this Section.

6 pages

Download the click-and-type version from the resources!

Section 6: Review of All Suspense Guru Secrets Using Examples from SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Contrasted to the action film, THE MATRIX, the drama SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK provides examples of everything you've learned. Make sure to see SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK before watching this lecture because there are spoilers ahead!


Examples from Act 2 of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK provide more examples of how the Suspense Guru keys to success work in every genre, even a quiet personal drama.

Section 7: Review of All Suspense Guru Secrets Using Examples from LOST IN TRANSLATION

Contrasted to the action film, THE MATRIX, the drama LOST IN TRANSLATION provides additional examples of the Suspense Guru principles. Make sure to see LOST IN TRANSLATION before watching this lecture because there are spoilers ahead!


Examples from Act 2 of LOST IN TRANSLATION provide more examples of how the Suspense Guru keys to success work in every genre, even one of the most quiet, personal dramas.

Section 8: SUSPENSE GURU Course Wrap-Up

Here is the wrap-up and review for the entire course.

Section 9: Bonus Lecture: One-on-One Coaching

How to get one-on-one coaching from Vik in applying the Suspense Guru principles to your own story.

1 page

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Instructor Biography

Vik Rubenfeld, Creator of the Hit CBS Primetime Drama, EARLY EDITION

Meet Vik Rubenfeld, the Suspense Guru™.

Vik Rubenfeld is an innovative renaissance man who does some of his best work behind the scenes. As the creator of the wildly popular genre busting ‘90s CBS TV series Early Edition (which has been syndicated in 73 countries around the world), Vik inspired a genre of forward thinking television content and led something of a small screen revolution. As the author of the recently published novel Conquest, which takes readers behind the scenes of the making of a rock ‘n’ roll band, he combined his love of pop culture with his entertainment industry knowledge.

Vik has over 30,000 Twitter followers. He regularly interacts with them to answer their questions about how to plot a story.

Vik launched the Suspense Guru™ webinars and one on one mentoring to teach the best elements of suspense and storytelling to writers, business people and creatives.

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