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Writing Books/Tips on Thrillers


When you said that it was "cheesy and cliched"-I agree to a certain point, but I have noticed authors use this as another way to vary sentences. I have read books just use short words to describe scenes, such as: "Breath. Breath. Just one more. Inhale. Inhale. Paddle. Paddle," For example to show struggle, or set a moment of suspense. So, if it is cheesy, in moderation at all would it be acceptable? And this is a great site by the way. Thank you alot.

Followup To
Question -
I have decided to step out into another genre--Thriller writting. I have been writing sci-fi for a while.I just need to know a few things about A)What makes a thriller different from horror, B) How to create suspence (certain writing tips I would greatly admire), C)Should one dive right into action or build up the characters before any real odd thing start to happen?
Thank you very much for the response. The most I know is to use fragments for sound, that is about it. (Bang! Something hit the door. Noone was there.)
Answer -
First off, DON'T use fragments for sound. It's cheesy and cliched. Just say "X felt his heart skip when something banged against the other end of the door," don't use words like "Bang!"

Horror typically includes something supernatural, while thriller has a tendency to remain in the "real world." There are exceptions, of course, that blur this fine line.

How to build the suspense, how to drive the plot, these are things you need to figure out for yourself. You sound like you're looking for a shortcut around the plot and writing style, but there isn't any.

Think back to a particular moment where you were afraid. What did it feel like? What were you thinking? Draw on these moments during your suspenseful scenes.

Whether you decide to start the story with an odd occurrence, etc., remember to build up the action to a climax. Don't let things happen too fast.


I would avoid those types of things as often as possible, unless you're using a first-person narrator and you're trying to add to the suspense, like:

"Breathe. Breathe, Mike. God, I can barely see a foot in front of me. Okay--take another deep breath. You can do this."

This would work best, of course, in present tense narrative, not past tense, so be careful with it. Do everything you can to avoid them, and use your imagination to find other ways around it whenever you can, especially in third-person narration.


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Kenneth Brosky


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