Writing a Psychological Thriller Hi. Thank you so much for this great site. I especially appreciate how quickly you respond to queries! I'm writing a psychological thriller but have a few questions.
The opening image is one of action, and often showing the threat found through the story. It can be atmospheric or provide a sense of foreboding, drawing the reader in to further reading.
Thriller and crime fiction readers expect to meet the antagonist or see a hint of crime or the threat right upfront. The first sentence and paragraph needs to have a good hook, and the whole chapter needs to provide a sense of tension and threat. Seat of pants reading.
Chapter two leads into the normal everyday life of the hero before she is pulled into the action or suspense. Note also that psychological thrillers can be slightly different from other sub-genres such as action, spy or other thrillers.
Where common elements can be found across the genre domain, they are listed first.
As with all fiction, these rules are often broken, and new expectations form with breakthrough novels. Suspense, tension, raising of stakes for the protagonist. Typically the pace of this tension is faster in a thriller against a mystery. The protagonist must be proactive rather than reactive.
He must make things happen, go into action, not sit around with events happening around him. As with most good fiction, the hero needs to have grown and learnt and ultimately changed by the end of the novel. Typical structural elements to the plot — an inciting incident or turning point that makes the main character move from their everyday and go on their journey to solve the issue, conflict, pace, complications, a darkest hour where everything seems lost, a climatic battle and denouement.
The ending should resolve all loose ends, but provide a satisfactory twist if possible. Good should prevail over bad. And the hero should have learnt something about himself or the human condition. No Coincidences — although they happen in real life all the time — should be avoided in fiction, even though they can provide character conflict.
Characters Main characters need side-kicks or a supporting cast complementary characters at various levels.
Mentors, confidants, small rivals. Or even another hero in partnership. Even James Bond, who can be thought of as a solitary adventure hero, still needed Q and others to occasionally talk to.TEN TIPS on Pace & Structure of a Thriller Posted on September 23, by Joe Moore Writing a thriller is so much more involved than ten tips, but the checklist below is a good start.
8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Horror Screenplay DEAD By Lucy V Hay On May 15, · 10 Comments Horror is a high concept genre that can lend itself easily to low budget filmmaking (both feature and short film), so it’s no wonder I get so many of them across my desk via B2W and my industry clients.
But the lesson for the screenwriter is to look to the spec script, not the film, for the true, most pure and high-suspense, high-stakes structure of this story. The spec script for The Truman Show sold for a nice amount, made a huge splash in the industry and established Niccol’s career.
October 12, October 15, Posted in Crime and Thrillers, Writing Craft Tagged crime fiction, genre, mystery, thriller fiction, thriller writer, thrillers, writing craft Last week I attempted to define some elements expected of the typical reader in a psychological thriller. Thank you so much for this great site.
I especially appreciate how quickly you respond to queries! I'm writing a psychological thriller but have a few questions.
Last week I attempted to define some elements expected of the typical reader in a psychological thriller. Although the attempt was a good one, it left me with some problems localising the differences between what a mystery, crime fiction and thriller is.