Writing a Killer Thriller

WRITING A KILLER THRILLER

ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES FOR SUPERCHARGING YOUR STORIES!

Respected editor and blogger Jodie Renner presents concrete techniques that work for writing fast-paced, captivating fiction that sells.

You’ll find these tips indispensable for plotting a riveting story, creating compelling characters, writing a gripping opening, and designing suspenseful scenes.

And the reader-friendly layout makes it easy to navigate the topics, including advice with examples for picking up the pace, ramping up the tension and intrigue, and revising for power.

Available in trade paperback or e-book form. Print: $11.99 USD; 14.99 CAD. E-book: $2.99  Amazon.com   Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk

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PRAISE for Writing a Killer Thriller

“…for writers of this genre, this book is or should be the ultimate authoritative resource. … will save a new writer so much time in learning the craft. … Your before-and-after examples show the most difficult-to-grasp techniques and concepts clearly and concisely. … What a great resource for a thriller reader!”

~ Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards

“Finally, someone who understands the thriller! More than ever an author must also be his own best editor and Jodie Renner is there to help. Writing a Killer Thriller should be on every thriller writer’s desk. It breaks down the thriller into its must-have component parts to write a scintillating, edge of the seat novel that will get readers buzzing and sales flowing.”

~ Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of The Jury Master, Murder One, and more, including the Tracy Crosswhite series

Writing a Killer Thriller by Jodie Renner is an in-depth journey through each component of the thriller. Renner breaks down the process into key elements, each essential to keeping the reader turning those pages. From character development to building suspense, Writing a Killer Thriller should be on the desk of every thriller author out there. A staple for the beginner, a refresher for the pro.”

~ Joe Moore, #1 Amazon and international bestselling co-author of The Blade, The Phoenix Apostles, and more

“Writing is hard, editing harder, and self-editing almost impossible. Writing a Killer Thriller demystifies each of these steps on the road to a published manuscript. Read this book. It will help you now and for many years to come.”

~ DP Lyle, Macavity Award winning and Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Benjamin Franklin, Scribe, and USA Best Books nominated author of the Dub Walker thriller series

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Part I – WHAT’S A THRILLER, ANYWAY?

Chapter 1 – Thrillers versus Mysteries                              

Part II – DESIGN A KILLER PLOT

Chapter 2 – Know the Basic Ingredients of a Killer Thriller

What a Thriller Needs

High-Concept Fiction

How and Where to Start

Ideas, Premise, What-ifs, Storyline

Chapter 3 – Build Your Story on a Solid Foundation

The Hero’s Journey

The Classic Three-Act Structure

Gustav Freytag’s Five-Act Dramatic Structure

Nigel Watts’ Eight-Point Story Arc

Chapter 4 – Avoid These Plot and Structure Gaffes

Plot and Structure No-No’s to Find and Fix

Part III – CREATE COMPELLING CHARACTERS

Chapter 5 – Invent a Charismatic but Conflicted Hero

Attributes of a Bestselling Hero or Heroine

Chapter 6 – Devise a Worthy Antagonist

Create a Cunning, Determined Villain

Part IV – HOOK ’EM & KEEP ’EM WITH TENSION AND INTRIGUE

Chapter 7 – Craft a Killer Opening

Essential Ingredients of a Gripping Opening

Chapter 8 – Avoid These Storytelling Gaffes

Checklists of Do’s and Don’ts

Chapter 9 – Put Tension on Every Page

Tips for Adding Tension

Chapter 10 – Write Riveting Scenes and Chapters

Every Scene Needs Tension and a Change

Part V – BRING YOUR CHARACTERS TO LIFE ON THE PAGE

Chapter 11 – Powerful Point of View

Use Deep Point of View

Use Multiple Viewpoints

Chapter 12 – Show, Don’t Tell

How to Show instead of Telling

Evoke All Five Senses

Show Your Character’s Reactions and Emotions

PART VI: SUSTAIN THE SUSPENSE

Chapter 13 – Build in Tension and Intrigue

Some “Big-Picture” Techniques for Adding Suspense

Chapter 14 – Use Foreshadowing for Maximum Reader Involvement

Devices for Amping up the Tension and Suspense

Foreshadowing

Chapter 15 – Delay, Tease, and Stretch out the Moment

Withholding Information, Delays

Stretching out the Moment

Chapter 16 – Twists, Surprises, Epiphanies, & Revelations

Epiphanies

Revelations

Chapter 17 – Story Climax, Resolution, and Ending

Knock ’Em Dead with a Kick-Ass Climax

Create a Memorable, Satisfying Ending

Part VII – REVISE FOR SUCCESS

Chapter 18 – Revising for Power

Style and Pacing for Tension and Intrigue

Chapter 19 –Structural Tips for Amping up Tension & Intrigue

Cliffhangers

Jump cuts

Chapter 20 – Rivet Your Readers with Savvy Sentence Structure and Spacing

Style tricks for keeping your readers’ interest and attention

Chapter 21 – Tighten Your Writing and Pick up the Pace

Tips for Writing Tighter

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Writing

Part VIII – WRAP-UP & CHECKLISTS

Chapter 22 – Wrap-Up: Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller

Chapter 23 – Checklist for Ratcheting up the Tension and Suspense

PART IX – OTHER RELATED INFO

Appendix A – Glossary of Fiction Terms

Appendix B – Subgenres of Thrillers

Appendix C – Resources for Thriller Writers

A Few Words from the Author

About the Author

REVIEWS

“A killer of a thriller guide! Jodie Renner lays out, in clear, easy steps and lists, how the best writers craft their works of art – and shows how you can do it, too. A terrific how-to in avoiding the pitfalls and burnishing the gotta-haves of writing a bestselling thriller novel, by an editor who knows her way around action, drama and creating characters so fresh and real you’ll swear they were your friends.”

~ Shane Gericke, national bestselling and No. 1 Kindle bestselling author of Torn Apart

“Jodie Renner is a terrific fiction editor who is constantly updating her craft. She’s edited several novels for me, and I highly recommend her services and books. Even if you don’t write thrillers, her advice is applicable to writing a compelling story in almost any genre.”

~ L.J. Sellers, bestselling author of provocative mysteries and thrillers

“With years of experience as a professional editor to many successful authors, Renner knows what it takes to write a good thriller, and she lays it all out here in a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand manner. From building excitement and suspense on every page, to adding tension and conflict to each chapter, this book is packed with information you simply can’t afford to miss if you want to gain that ever-elusive competitive edge in the world of fiction.”

–         Andrew E. Kaufman, #1 bestselling author of The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted and While the Savage Sleeps

“Jodie Renner has demystified the process of thriller-writing with Writing a Killer Thriller. This little booklet is packed full of information which is not just useful, but critical to the success of any thriller writer, whether just starting out or a veteran of many books.

“Jodie helped me transform my thriller The Lonely Mile from a good book to a ‘gripping and unnerving’ Amazon bestseller, and I look forward to working with her again. If you want to avail yourself of the knowledge of one of the best freelance thriller editors in the business, you couldn’t ask for a better deal than Writing a Killer Thriller.”

–          Allan Leverone, bestselling thriller and horror writer