July 6th, 2016

Me typing?

Writing Excuses 11.27: the Elemental Thriller

Writing Excuses 11.27: the Elemental Thriller

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/07/03/11-27-the-elemental-thriller/

Key Points: Thriller! In danger, being chased, someone is trying to kill you, if you don't stop the bomb from exploding, millions will die. Anxiety! If horror is fear of the unknown, thriller is fear of what is coming. Tension! Short chapters, with cliffhangers. Races and chases! Timebomb! Adrenaline. To write one -- use chapter breaks, in cusp points. Minimize resting places. Scene, scene, little sequel. Keep the momentum going! If your protagonist is doing the chasing, make sure there is a timebomb, that they don't have time to prep and plan. Pursuit thriller, where we are chasing, often has high stakes. Pursued thriller, where we are being chased, often has personal stakes.

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[Brandon] All right. Let's go ahead and break and give you guys some homework. Mary is going to make you do something.
[Mary] All right. So we're going to talk about having you actually ramp up your current work and get a little bit more thriller action in there. There's a very useful plotting tool called "yes-but, no-and" which is the idea that every question… Every action that your character takes is essentially a question. The question is, "Does this succeed?" Your answers are "Yes, but things get worse," or "No, and things get worse." So what I want you to do is to look at what you've got going on and find something that you currently have them succeed at, and then you have a nice resting spot, and then they go on to another thing. Take out the nice resting spot and make that success a little less triumphant. So essentially what I'm asking you to do is have scene, scene. If you really need the sequel, if there's content in there, see if you can roll that into the next action scene. But what we want you to do is tighten it up so we've got a lot more breathlessness going forward.
[Brandon] All right. That's excellent. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.