REGISTRATION DATES: August 29, 2024, THROUGH September 28, 2024

WORKSHOP DATES: October 1-29, 2024


Minimum of 10 Registered Participants

A maximum of 15 Registered Participants



AMP UP THE TENSION is a dynamic workshop that offers authors an opportunity to elevate their storytelling.

This immersive workshop dives into the art of crafting compelling conflict and intense scenes in women's fiction.

Led by experienced instructor, Kim Taylor Blakemore, participants will gain valuable insights, techniques, and practical tools to amp up the tension in their writing. Through interactive discussions, real-world examples, and engaging writing exercises, authors will learn to create conflicting goals, unravel hidden secrets, unleash consequences, utilize the ticking clock, master dialogue, fine-tune prose mechanics, portray complex characters, and infuse every scene with gripping tension.

Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting your journey, this workshop will equip you with the skills needed to captivate readers, keep them on the edge of their seats, and leave a lasting impact with your women's fiction narratives.



This workshop will be broken into 4 live Zoom meetings that will take place the first four Tuesday evenings of this workshop. There will be handouts, exercises, and assignments. Each session will be recorded and the recordings will be available to every registered participant within 48 hours.

In addition to our online live Zoom meetings, participants will complete homework assignments and post them to the online portion of the course for feedback from participating writers and the instructor.




Conflicting Goals: We will explore the power of conflicting wants and needs among characters, emphasizing the importance of aligning their goals with the main story goal. Participants will learn how to create high-stakes conflicts and ensure that only one character's goal emerges victorious.

Secrets: Secrets play a vital role in intensifying tension. This segment will delve into the art of hinting at hidden truths and uncovering the motivations behind characters' actions. Participants will discover how secrets can both hinder and help the main character's pursuit of their goals.

Consequences: Misbehavior, temper tantrums, and rash decisions can heighten tension when they result in significant consequences in later scenes. We will explore how actions in one scene can have ripple effects, amplifying the stakes and driving the narrative forward.

What Are the Stakes?: Participants will explore the significance of high stakes in women's fiction. We will discuss the three types of "death" (physical, professional, psychological) and how they can drive the story forward. Additionally, we will analyze how to establish stakes on a micro and macro level, ensuring that each scene contributes to the overall story goal.


  • Complete Goal-Motivation-Conflict Handout
  • Complete Consequences Exercise
  • Choose scene that you feel could use work and identify areas that may need improvement.



Dialogue: Short, subtext-rich dialogue will be the focus of this segment. Participants will learn techniques to keep dialogue concise and imbue it with conflicting purposes.We will emphasize the importance of action tags and avoiding excessive introspection, encouraging an active, reactive, and consequence-driven narrative.

The Power of Silence: we will explore the remarkable effect of silence and stillness in amping up tension. Participants will learn how to transform a scene filled with chaos, screaming, and emotional distress into a moment of absolute quiet, where the silence itself becomes a powerful force.


Rewrite a scene of dialogue in your work-in-progress to share with group.



The Ticking Clock: We will delve into the power of deadlines and time constraints in amping up tension. By discussing scenarios where characters face imminent disasters if they fail to meet deadlines, participants will learn how to create urgency and keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Mechanics: We will explore the mechanics of tension-building prose, emphasizing the use of short, terse sentences, paragraphs, and words. Participants will discover how carefully placed longer sentences can slow the reader down, creating moments of introspection, while shorter sentences disrupt the rhythm and evoke a sense of impending action.

The Bad Guy is Sooo Nice: This segment will highlight the importance of creating complex antagonists who may initially appear kind, funny, or clever.

Give the Good Guy Vices: By exploring the flaws and vices of protagonists, participants will understand how these traits can hinder their progress and contribute to escalating tension.


Choose a scene in your work-in-progress and add a ticking clock and one of your protagonist’s vices. What consequences occur?




Every Scene Has a Winner: Writers will learn how to determine who wins, why, and the subsequent consequences that drive the narrative forward.

Highlighting Emotion: When and where do we slow the scene from action and give our readers a window into the character’s emotions? What techniques can make the reader viscerally feel what the character feels?

Using Multiple Conflicts: This segment will emphasize the power of incorporating conflict on various levels. Participants will learn how to integrate conflicts with self, others, and the world/environment, ensuring that every scene or chapter is filled with tension and serves a purpose in advancing the narrative.


Rewrite one scene in your work-in-progress, using techniques you have learned in the course. Explain what areas you chose to focus on. Post in the online hub for feedback.




Assignments will revolve around the above outlined areas, but combined into four submissions.

Each completed assignment will be posted to the online course hub for participants to read and provide feedback.

We will share what we learned from the assignments in the Zoom class. Expect writing within the Zoom sessions, also.


SCHEDULE (subject to change):

  • On or prior to August 26, 2024, you will be sent a “Welcome Email” for this workshop which will contain the Zoom Link for this LIVE workshop as well as the curriculum and homework due dates.
  • Writers will submit their work by Friday of the week prior to the online hub for feedback from the instructor and other writers in the course.
  • Each of the live Zoom presentations for this workshop will be recorded.
  • The link to the recording will be sent to all registered participants via email within 48 hours. Please Note: it is not required for you to attend each of the live presentations if you would prefer to just watch the recording. We do encourage you to attend the live virtual workshop so that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have at the end of the presentation.
  • This workshop and all of the recordings will be archived and no longer accessible on December 1, 2024.



  • Please plan to attend each of the LIVE workshop meetings if at all possible.
  • Please plan to participate and complete each of the assignments.
  • Interact with Kim Taylor Blakemore and ask questions, during each presentation and in the workshop itself.



  • Once you have registered and paid for this workshop, all sales are final.
  • Refunds will be processed if this workshop needs to be canceled due to lack of registration.
  • If you have a question concerning this workshop, please email: [email protected]


ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Kim Taylor Blakemore

Kim Taylor Blakemore has received accolades for her award-winning historical suspense and young adult fiction. Novels include The Deception, After Alice Fell, The Companion, Bowery Girl and Cissy Funk.

Under her pen name K.T. Blakemore, she writes the Wild-Willed Women of the West series. Novels in the series include The Good Time Girls, The Good Time Girls Get Famous, and The Good Time Girls Strike It Rich (2024).

Her work has received a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award, Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award, Willa Award for Best Young Adult Fiction, New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards finalist and WFWA Star Award finalist.

As a developmental editor and the founder of Novelitics, she provides workshops and a supportive community for novelists in the United States and Canada. She shares her expertise by teaching editing and craft workshops for esteemed organizations like History Quill, WFWA, RWA Kiss of Death, Murder & Mayhem, Sisters In Crime, and Permian Basin Writers Workshop.

Visit Kim at: and