20 Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller, by Jodie Renner If you want your thriller or romantic suspense to be a compelling page-turner, make sure you’ve included most or all of these twenty elements: 1. A protagonist who’s both ordinary and heroic. Rather than having a “Superman” invincible-type hero, it’s more satisfying to the readers if you use a regular person who’s thrown into stressful, then increasingly harrowing situations, and must summon all of his courage, strength and inner resources to overcome the odds, save himself and other innocent people, and defeat evil. 2. The readers need to be able to warm up to your main character quickly, to start identifying with her; otherwise they won’t really care what happens to her.So no cold, selfish, arrogant characters for heroes or heroines! 3. Your antagonist needs to be as clever, strong, resourceful and determined as your protagonist, but also truly nasty, immoral and frightening. 4. 5. If it doesn’t, change your protagonist — or your story line. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
How To Structure A Story: The 8 Point Arc By Ali Hale - 3 minute read One of my favourite “how to write” books is Nigel Watts’ Writing A Novel and Getting Published. My battered, torn and heavily-pencil-marked copy is a testament to how useful I’ve found it over the years. Although the cover appears to be on the verge of falling off altogether, I’ve risked opening the book once more to bring you Watts’ very useful “Eight-Point Story Arc” – a fool-proof, fail-safe and time-honoured way to structure a story. (Even if you’re a short story writer or flash fiction writer rather than a novelist, this structure still applies, so don’t be put off by the title of Watts’ book.) The eight points which Watts lists are, in order: StasisTriggerThe questSurpriseCritical choiceClimaxReversalResolution He explains that every classic plot passes through these stages and that he doesn’t tend to use them to plan a story, but instead uses the points during the writing process: So, what do the eight points mean? Stasis Trigger The quest Surprise Climax Reversal
Old Plots, New Plots This turned out to be a long entry so Thriller Guy is going to break it up into two. He'll be putting the other half up in a few days. TG has spoken many times about the difficulties in coming up with great plot ideas. Oh, how many times have the Little Ones gathered at his knee and pleaded, (pled?) “Oh, TG, tell us your secret, how can we too come up with killer plot ideas?” Constant readers of TG's thoughts know that he is a big fan of Gin when it comes this question, and he ascribes to the Four Bs of Creative Cognition – that's Bed, Bath, Beach and Bus – which are great places for ideas to suddenly spring into one's head. TG reads a ton of books, and most of them are running through the same old plots, mash-ups and ripoffs. But instead of continuing to rail against the paucity of today's plots, TG is going to reprise an old plot and give you some new ones he likes over the last year's reading. Clive Cussler used to be the master of the over-the-top, bizarro plot.
The Golden Rules for a Good Plot Writing a novel can be a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you write a good plot. Is it your dream to become a best-selling author? Have you spent countless afternoons daydreaming about selling a million copies? Plot Rule 1: Create a plot skeleton A plot outline will help you choose a complication and the steps to resolve it. Plot Rule 2: Flesh out your plot Fleshing out your plot with colorful characters and a vivid setting will enhance your novel and grab your readers’ attention. Plot Rule 3: Bring your plot to a powerful resolution Have you used each scene and story event to guide readers to a plot resolution? Plot Rule 4: End your story at a natural stopping place After the climax, wrap up the story as quickly as possible. Plot Rule 5: Make sure your characters resolve conflicts on their own Don't rely on an act of nature or an unknown hero to clean things up at the last minute. A final note on creating a good plot… Creating a good plot isn't as easy as it sounds.
The 39 Steps to writing a perfect thriller by author John Buchan's grandson By Toby Buchan Updated: 22:01 GMT, 15 January 2011 'The 39 Steps, in its language, its settings, its nods to contemporary technology and its characterisation, belongs firmly to the 20th century,' said John Buchan's grandson, Toby On a late-summer’s day in 1914, a man walks with his small daughter down a rickety flight of wooden steps leading to a private beach from a house on the clifftop. ‘Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-NINE!’ Thus Alice Buchan gave the title to her father’s, my grandfather’s, new novel, little knowing that it would prove to be one of the most enduring adventure stories ever to be published. John Buchan wrote The 39 Steps in a few weeks towards the end of 1914, while staying with his wife and children at Broadstairs in Kent, in a house on the cliffs overlooking Stone Bay. Buchan posted the manuscript to Blackwood & Sons in Edinburgh, publisher not only of books but of the famous literary magazine that bore its name. He need not have fretted.
The Best Story Structure Tool We Know By Glen C. Strathy Of the various story structure models or theories that exist, we have chosen to focus mainly on Dramatica, which was developed by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley. We chose to work with this model because it is the only one that... 1. Addresses all aspects of story structure simultaneously and in an integrated way, including not just plot and character but also theme (something most models barely touch on). 2. 3. 4. What's more, Dramatica embodies certain insights into story structure that no other theory does. The aim of this website is to present practical tips and exercises to help writers, while avoiding a lot of theory. Finding A Roadmap For Creating Your Novel The most important thing you need from any story theory is help creating a good roadmap for your novel. Specifically, you want help creating a plot that will keep the reader engaged and bring the story to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. Traditional Story Theory Is Too General 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Five Rules for Writing Thrillers - David Morrell Thrillers have never been more popular. On the New York Times fiction bestseller lists, over half are often filled with examples of the genre. Thrillers even have their own organization, International Thriller Writers (which I co-founded with Gayle Lynds). Not that thrillers were entirely absent. If you’re a writer who’s thinking of going in this direction, here are five pieces of advice that might help. NUMBER ONE: KNOW YOUR MOTIVESHave a good reason for writing a thriller. I remained sane by imagining stories in which I was a hero overcoming adversity. By contrast, if you’re merely writing thrillers because they’re currently popular, you ought to think twice. What’s more, events might prevent the book from being published. Imagine how hollow you would have felt if you’d written one of those thrillers just to pay the bills. Before I start any novel, I write a lengthy answer to the following question: “Why is this project worth a year of my life?” I love doing research.
Plot Generator Creative Writer - Plotting a thriller Last month I wrote on the importance of plot. This time round I will take that discussion a step further and look at a genre where plot is paramount — the thriller. What makes a good thriller? Well, let's investigate while dissecting one of the best — Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal. Broadly speaking, plots can be placed in one of two categories — the siege narrative and the quest narrative. The Day of the Jackal begins in the early 1960s as a quest narrative, where a professional assassin codenamed the Jackal is hired by the Organisation de l'armee secrete (OAS), a right-wing French terrorist organisation committed to killing the then French president Charles de Gaulle for granting independence to Algeria. Narrative transformation As the novel proceeds, however, it transforms from a quest narrative into more of a siege narrative as the French secret service get wind of the plot to murder the president and start hunting the Jackal. Fascinating character
Vocabulary Games, English Vocabulary Word Games Story Structure, Script Outlines, Screenplay Writing | Scribe Meets World Story Arts | Storytelling in the Classroom Why Storytelling? Educators have long known that the arts can contribute to student academic success and emotional well being. The ancient art of storytelling is especially well-suited for student exploration. Retelling Folktales Storytelling Lesson Plans and Activities Using Storytelling To Assess Listening and Speaking Skills Story Library Exploring Cultural Roots Through Storytelling Why Storytelling? Gaining Verbal Skills Becoming verbally proficient can contribute to a student's ability to resolve interpersonal conflict nonviolently. Imagination Both telling a story and listening to a well-told tale encourages students to use their imaginations. Passing On Wisdom Storytelling based on traditional folktales is a gentle way to guide young people toward constructive personal values by presenting imaginative situations in which the outcome of both wise and unwise actions and decisions can be seen. Copyright © 2000 Story Arts