The first thing you need to know about writing a novel is that there are no easy answers. Every novel demands its own structure, its own pace, its own way of looking at the world. Outlines are fine unless they derail you.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! It makes me think of readers who pick up thrillers and find no thrills in them. Or at least not as many as there could be.
For a healthy, fully functioning thriller, try some literary vitamin C. Dose your book with these five Cs and it will stand strong, chest out, ready to give your reader a run for the money. This guest post is by James Scott Bell. Follow him on Twitter jamesscottbell.
Complex Characterizations The first place to fortify a thriller is its cast of characters. A critical mistake made here can undermine even the best story concept.
Is your protagonist all good? Instead, the thriller hero needs to struggle with issues inside as well as outside. These roiling conflicts make her survival an open question. Quite an introduction, especially for someone on the LAPD bomb detail.
We know she has a short fuse. And we want to watch to see if it goes off. Miki Hayden Brainstorm a list of at least 10 inner demons your hero has to fight. Then choose the best one. Give him actions that demonstrate the flaw. Move on to the rest of your cast.
Reject the first image you come up with when creating a character. Entertain several possibilities, always looking for a fresh take. Then, give each character a point of potential conflict with your hero as well as with the other characters—especially those who are allies.
Look for ways friends can become enemies or betrayers. Short of that, create more arguments. To help you add complexity, make a character grid like this: Now, fill in the blank boxes with possible relationships, secrets and areas of conflict.
If possible connections are eluding you, try running this exercise for each of your main characters: In his closet is something he does not want anyone to find, ever. What does this reveal about the inner life of the character? Use the secrets and passions you discover to add another point of conflict within the cast.
Standout thrillers need complexity and webs of conflict, so that every page hums with tension. Confrontation I call the main action of a novel the confrontation. This is where the hero and antagonist battle over the high stakes a thriller demands.
They make their bad guy all bad. More interesting confrontations come from a villain who is justified in what he does. You mean, in doing evil things? How much more chilling is the bad guy who has a strong argument for his actions, or who even engenders a bit of sympathy?
The crosscurrents of emotion this will create in your readers will deepen your thriller in ways that virtually no other technique can accomplish.
The trick is not to overdo it—if you stack the deck against your villain, readers will feel manipulated. Start by giving your antagonist just as rich a backstory as your hero. What hopes and dreams did he have?
How were they dashed? What life-altering hurt did he suffer?Nov 12, · must reads, in which contemporary thriller writers each provide a 1,word appreciation of zwanzig zehn minuten essays a thriller with historical alphabetnyc.com need to be experts in the history of the type of story we write, but our obligation doesn’t end there stein on formula for writing a crime novel writers writing: by john.
The first thing you need to know about writing a novel is that there are no easy answers. The second thing you need to know is that there’s no magic formula. Every novel demands its own structure. Mystery Novel formula The following outline serves the modern mystery novel, as defined by editors and publishers.
A typical story will contain 60, to 65, words ( manuscript pages) and will be divided into 12 chapters, each approximately 17 pages in length. For anyone who wishes to learn how to write in the crime genre, the detective story provides a staple formula to follow. Introduce the crime. The crime should be introduced in the first three chapters, as it is the basis for the entire story and that which the plot revolves around.
If you do choose to write a novel in 30 days, keep in mind that you’re writing a first draft. Be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success by setting realistic deadlines.
Famous crime authors I've included on this list include writers who've managed to churn out incredibly complex, entertaining mystery novels and detective books for decades, including Robert B. Parker, John le Carre and Graham Greene.