July 19th, 2016

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Writing Excuses 11.29: Elemental Thriller As Subgenre

Writing Excuses 11.29: Elemental Thriller As Subgenre

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/07/17/11-29-elemental-thriller-as-a-subgenre/

Key Points: Thriller, adrenaline, pumped! To make a thriller, make sure your character is in danger, and stays in danger. Take away the people the protagonist can trust. Keep the pot boiling -- four things at once, not just one. Try-fail cycles with yes-but/no-and and plenty of unintended consequences. Timebomb after timebomb. But don't lose what makes the main genre work, just add to it. Make it personal. Why does it matter to this character?
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[Brandon] So, I'm going to stop us here and give you some homework. I'm going to suggest that you practice your cliffhangers. A lot of people ask me, students asked me this, I get a ton of questions over twitter about "How do you decide how long a chapter should be?" Well, one of the number one things you can learn from thrillers is practicing how to end a chapter in a way that pulls someone to the next one. What I want to avoid are the cheap tricks. So I want you to look at chapters you've written or write new ones or something monumental, something really cool happens at the end and it is so cool that the person wants to turn the page and read what happens next rather than hinting that something cool is going to happen in the next page. Practice doing this a few times. Practice chopping your chapters in different places from what you've already written. See what kind of effects you can create through varying chapter length and varying where you end them. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.