How to write a thriller?

Thrillers are getting popular by the day. And there’s nothing worse for a reader than picking up a thriller that doesn’t shake you to the core. If your gut isn’t clenched by the time you finish reading a thriller, the author isn’t doing it right. Here’s how you can write a thriller that will amaze the readers:

  1. Read thrillers: Go to the history of the genre. From The Woman in White to The Da Vinci code, read anything and everything you find. Even the bad books will teach you something (how not to write) and you can definitely understand tricks from a good thriller.
  2. Cryptic complex characters: Normal characters are boring. Create your characters with a complex personality, struggles (internal as well as external) and some mystery or secret surrounding them. Every character should stay under the eyes of suspicion.
  3. Underlying story: Lay down the groundwork for the coming climax. Start dropping hints that aren’t obvious to the naked eye while the normal story proceeds, but connect the dots well in the end. This can be a hard job and required great planning.
  4. Plot Twist: No thriller is complete without one. That shocking moment, that unbelievable twist in the book that makes the reader think “What did I just read?” It needs to be something original and truly ground breaking.
  5. Emotions: Feel everything your characters are feeling and then put it into such words that your reader feels it too. Each scene should play in their minds and they should experience all emotions you want them to. Be empathic with your characters and convincing in your writing.
  6. Beginning: Start with a bang! Or a mysterious sequence. Depends on which thriller genre you choose. Is it psychological thriller, mystery thriller, spy thriller or military thriller? Plan the beginning right to engage the readers from the start. Once they are hooked, keep developing the story at a steady pace.

Don’t leave a thriller at a slow pace. While you are waiting for the connections to come together at the plot twist, also create an engaging story for the characters that generally plays out. Thrillers require attention to be paid to the side characters since they end up being more important. It is often one of the side characters that is secretly the antagonist. So you would want to develop their character as well and tell writer about the side character’s back stories and reasons too.

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