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How to write an action-packed thriller.
As a thriller author and podcast host of MEET THE THRILLER AUTHOR, I’m sometimes asked for tips on how to write a thriller. Here is my take on the subject.
But first, writing techniques are subjective. What works great for me might not for you. But these strategies have been around since the start of the thriller genre.
Writing a thriller is one of the most difficult things you can do as a writer. It requires a lot of planning and a deep understanding of character and plot development. The genre is full of cliched elements, so it’s important to find creative ways to make your story stand out. Here are seven strategies to help you write an action-packed thriller that will keep your readers on the edge of their seats.
- Start with an exciting event.
- Create interesting characters.
- Build suspense.
- Introduce twists and turns.
- Make it unpredictable.
- Keep the pacing fast.
- Add a touch of realism.
1. Start with an exciting event.
The very first element of a good thriller is a gripping opening sequence. It should be high in energy and suspense and make your readers immediately interested in what’s going to happen next. You can do this by setting up a scene of suspense and danger, introducing a mysterious character, or even starting off with a murder.
2. Create interesting characters.
No thriller would be complete without interesting characters. Make sure your characters are well-developed, with distinct personalities, motivations, and conflicts. Create characters that your readers can relate to and care about, so they’ll be invested in the story and concerned with their fate.
3. Build suspense.
Suspense is the key to a successful thriller. It’s what keeps your readers hooked and turning the pages. To create suspense, use techniques like foreshadowing, red herrings, and cliffhangers. Start each chapter with a question or an event that will keep your readers engaged.
4. Introduce twists and turns.
Twists and turns are an essential part of any thriller. They make the story more unpredictable and keep your readers guessing. To create these twists, use shocking revelations, unexpected plot points, and surprise endings.
5. Make it unpredictable.
Nothing kills a thriller faster than predictability. Make sure your story is full of unexpected plot points and unexpected characters. Leave your readers guessing and make them wonder what will happen next.
6. Keep the pacing fast.
A thriller should be fast-paced and full of action. Don’t let your story drag or bog down; keep the pacing tight and the action moving. Make sure your readers never get bored or lose interest.
7. Add a touch of realism.
Although a thriller should be high in suspense and danger, it should also be grounded in reality. Make sure your story and characters have depth and complexity; add details that make the story and characters more believable and relatable.
By following these seven strategies, you can write an action-packed thriller that will keep your readers hooked and wanting more. Just remember to start with an exciting event, create interesting characters, build suspense, introduce twists and turns, make it unpredictable, keep the pacing fast, and add a touch of realism. With these tips, you can create an exciting, suspenseful thriller that will have your readers on the edge of their seats.