What makes “thrilling” writing?

Asked by: Brock Lambert

Any build-up of tension is thrill. This is why, perhaps, political themes, historical themes and current affairs are the most popular ones in writing a thriller. They have a natural heightened suspense/tension, and every little thing has the ability to make one wonder, to question and to jump.

What makes a story thrilling?

The thriller genre often includes unexpected plot twists, a wicked bad guy, and page-turning tension. Any novel can generate excitement, suspense, interest, and exhilaration, but because these are the primary goals of the thriller genre, thriller writers have laser-focused expertise in keeping a reader interested.

What makes writing suspenseful?

A writer creates suspense through a controlled release of information to readers that raises key questions and makes readers eager, but terrified, to find out what happens. Sometimes, a writer builds suspense through dramatic irony—giving readers more information than the main character has.

What are the key elements of a thriller?

10 Elements That Make A Good Thriller

  • A good story. First and foremost, there has to be a strong sense of “dread” in any thriller. …
  • An action-packed opening chapter. …
  • A likeable protagonist. …
  • Multiple points-of-view. …
  • Cliffhangers. …
  • Ticking clock. …
  • A world-class nasty villain. …
  • Character growth.

What are the 5 elements of suspense?

5 Elements of a Suspense Novel

  • Conflict. Every novel needs conflict, and it’s also incredibly important for building suspense. …
  • Pacing. The pace of your novel is another important component to building suspense. …
  • Red herrings. Red herrings are clues in your story that mislead readers. …
  • Atmosphere. …
  • High stakes.


How do you write a bestselling thriller?

10 Basic Ingredients of a Successful Thriller

  1. You need to have a good story. …
  2. Write about the underdog. …
  3. Multiple points of view can give you great range in a thriller. …
  4. Open your book with an action scene. …
  5. Early on, make clear what your protagonist wants and what he fears. …
  6. Make your characters miserable.

What are thriller tropes?

A thriller is a genre in visual media and literature which focuses on action, fast pacing, tension, and suspense. The conflicts are usually between desperate heroes and powerful antagonists who outmatch them by a large margin. Frequent location changes, time shortage, and Cliffhangers are extremely common.

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What are the 7 elements of suspense?

7 Key Elements of Suspense Story Writing

  • Strong Characters. …
  • Conflict or Dilemma. …
  • Pacing. …
  • High Stakes. …
  • Red Herrings and Rabbit Holes (Deceive Your Reader in a Way They Like) …
  • Atmosphere. …
  • Foreshadowing.


How can I make my writing scary?

7 Tips for Scaring Your Readers

  1. Use the environment. …
  2. Use your own fears. …
  3. Write longer sentences. …
  4. Make your readers breathe faster. …
  5. Leverage fear of the unknown. …
  6. Avoid clichés. …
  7. Practice.


How do you create suspense examples?

Examples of Suspense: An author builds suspense by having two teenagers enter an old, eerie house on Halloween night. The author adds to the suspense when the teenagers hear a strange creaking noise from upstairs in the house. An author can build suspense through what they allow the readers to know.

What are the 3 types of suspense?

The 5 types of suspense (with examples)

  • Narrative (long-term) suspense. While technically any literary suspense might be described as “narrative,” this refers to tension that builds throughout the entire story. …
  • Short-term suspense. …
  • Mysterious suspense. …
  • Horrific suspense. …
  • Romantic/comedic suspense.


How do writers create tension and suspense?

Four factors are necessary for suspense—reader empathy, reader concern, impending danger and escalating tension. We create reader empathy by giving the character a desire, wound or internal struggle that readers can identify with. The more they empathize, the closer their connection with the story will be.

How do authors create mystery?

Mystery stories revolve around a main character on a quest to solve a crime. Also known as a whodunit or detective story, a mystery creates intrigue by revealing the identity of the antagonist only at the climax of the story. Mystery writers drop clues throughout the plot to invite readers to join in the investigation.

What are the 5 essential elements of a mystery story?

These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the problem, and the solution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the clues to the solution of the mystery to be revealed in a logical way that the reader can follow.

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How do you add mystery to your writing?

9 Mystery Writing Tips

  1. Read other mysteries often. Great mystery novels are full of writing advice if you pay close attention. …
  2. Know every detail of the crime. …
  3. Open with intrigue. …
  4. Construct convincing characters. …
  5. Make a list of suspects. …
  6. Lean into your locations. …
  7. Let the reader play along. …
  8. Misdirect your reader.

How can I make my character more mysterious?

3 Ways to Create a Bad Mystery in Your Novel

  1. Withhold Basic Need-to-Know Information. Withholding such elementary info as a character’s name, gender, or general goal will not entice readers into reading past the first chapter. …
  2. Withhold Common Knowledge Among Characters. …
  3. Ignore Plot Holes and Plausibility Gaps.


How do you write a traumatized character?

Show the characters processing their trauma and trying to resolve their issues. How do their brains connect the moment to reminders of the past? Give your characters a backstory, but don’t let the traumatic event dictate their entire lives. Real people never want to be defined by a single thing that happened.

How do you introduce a mystery character in a story?

Here is some writing advice to help you introduce your characters as effectively as possible:

  1. Don’t get bogged down in physical appearance. …
  2. Give your character a memorable character trait. …
  3. Start with backstory when appropriate. …
  4. Introduce a character through action. …
  5. Introduce the main character as soon as possible.


How do you write a mysterious villain?

Just ask yourself this first is your unseen villain that you're creating are they directing others to cause opposition. Or are they doing it. Themselves messing with the protagonist. Themselves.

How can I make my villain intimidated?

What Makes a Terrifying Villain?

  1. 3.1 Find Their Desire:
  2. 3.2 Mirror Your Hero:
  3. 3.3 Create Impact:
  4. 3.4 Ditch the Evil:
  5. 3.5 Make Them Real:
  6. 3.6 Push Them to the Edge:


Who is the baddest villain of all time?

The Greatest Villains Of All Time

  1. Darth Vader. The Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983) Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005), Rogue One (2016)
  2. The Joker. Batman (1966), Batman (1989), The Dark Knight (2008), Joker (2019) …
  3. Loki. …
  4. Hans Gruber. …
  5. Hannibal Lecter. …
  6. Hans Landa. …
  7. Kylo Ren. …
  8. Anton Chigurh. …
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How do you hide clues in a mystery novel?

If you’re getting started with mystery writing, this tactic is a great place to start. Mention or show the clue first and then immediately focus on a different clue or red herring. Emphasize the unimportant, but de-emphasize the clue. The reader sees the clue but doesn’t see what’s important about it.

How do you reveal a villain?

The Immediate Reveal

  1. Withhold the villain’s identity from the protagonist/other main characters.
  2. Place the villain in a symbolically “unreachable” place, where he/she can taunt the hero at will.
  3. Describe in detail the villain weaving his/her plot, right under the noses of the protagonists.


How do you write good clues?

Here are my Top Five Clue-writing Tips for creating excellent treasure hunt clues:

  1. Use wordplay: I love playing with words when brainstorming scavenger hunt ideas. …
  2. Employ puzzles: There are so many great puzzles to choose from when looking for treasure hunt ideas: crosswords, wordsearches, sudokus, acrostics, jumbles.

How do you become a good mystery villain?

Your readers need to understand why the he thinks what he’s doing is justified, even though they know he’s wrong. Give your villain strengths and frailties. He should not be a stereotypical, melodrama villain who only wears black and is so evil that his every action is a dastardly deed.

How do you create a truly evil character?

  1. Motivation is key. First and foremost your villain needs to have a realistic motivation to be evil. …
  2. Psychopaths and sociopaths. …
  3. They’re people too. …
  4. Hero of their own story. …
  5. True to life, and what works on paper. …
  6. Writing and developing evil. …
  7. Witness evil. …
  8. Counter the hero.
  9. How do you write a surprise ending?

    Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a twist ending of your own.



    To do so convincingly takes organization and a thorough understanding of the motivations behind every choice your characters make.

    1. Elevate a secondary character with a big reveal. …
    2. Make sure your twist ending has a consequence. …
    3. Review your plans.