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Fire up Your Fiction

The best thrillers stab the heart, throughout. They do it by getting readers to experience the emotions of the scenes. How can you do that?


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First, by experiencing them yourself. Sense memory is a technique used by many serious actors.

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And you will. The actor transfers that to her role; the writer, to the page. When I was getting to the heart of one of my own thrillers-in-progress, a story of two brothers, I needed to feel what the younger one was experiencing when the bad guys came. I recalled a time when I was 6 or 7, and some bullies were holding me hostage on a hill.

Terrified, I finally made a break for home and sobbed to my big brother about what had happened.

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He left me at the house. When I wrote the scenes with the younger brother, I focused on feeling those moments again, and transferred those emotions to the page. I hope they take me where Chuck is. If they do anything to Chuck I will bite them.

Writing a Killer Thriller: - An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction

I will do anything I can to hurt them. Interview the character at the height of an emotion. Write down his reaction for at least words without using a period. Then explore that text to find gems of emotional description. The original storytellers spun thrillers. When heroes went out into the dark world to confront monsters and demons and great beasts, the tribe vicariously lived the tale. But there was something more—they learned how to fight, act courageously and survive. Readers still seek that kind of story. So you ought to spend some time asking yourself what your thriller is really about.

Does it offer hope for justice? Does it end with justice denied? Many aspiring thriller writers, perhaps seeing the genre as action-driven, avoid thinking about theme or meaning, or premise. They prefer to let the characters duke it out, and leave it at that. Why not be intentional about it?

Your lead character is now 20 years older and has had time to reflect on all that happened in the story you told. What life lesson did you learn that you can pass on to the rest of us? Now use all your skills to demonstrate that lesson at the end of the story itself, without necessarily using words.

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Give us Clarice Starling sleeping at last, the lambs of her nightmares silenced. Or Harry Bosch in Lost Light, holding for the first time the hands of the daughter he never knew he had. Order Now!


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For more great writing advice, click here. Brian A. Am Karen Lola from Scotland. Everything got worse because he started going to bars and strip clubs frequently with his friend, getting drunk and passing out. He always threatens me on phone whenever I call him because of all the bad advises that his friend has given him. I really love him and we had been dating for 8 years which gave us a beautiful daughter. I had also lost a lot of money on therapists until I was introduced to Dr. Unity by a friend whom he helped to marry her childhood boyfriend; this gave me total confidence and strength to get him back.

I did all he asked and after 48 hours my boyfriend called me and rushed back home, things just changed between us emotionally. Renner breaks down the process into key elements, each essential to keeping the reader turning those pages.

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From character development to building suspense, Writing a Killer Thriller should be on the desk of every thriller author out there. A staple for the beginner, a refresher for the pro. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist.


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USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Find out how to make your novel's scene settings come alive to your readers with mood, senses, atmosphere and View Product. It breaks down the thriller into its must-have component parts to write a scintillating, edge-of-the-seat novel that will get readers buzzing and sales flowing.

Writing A Killer Thriller – An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction by Jodie Renner

Writing a Killer Thriller demystifies each of these steps on the road to a published manuscript. Read this book. It will help you now and for many years to come.