Writer's Digest

Twisty Business

The clock is ticking down. The police blotter goes hot on the dash, another killing across town. Suddenly, glass shatters. Your protagonist has a knife to her throat. And … and … you slam down the screen of your laptop in frustration. You’re stuck.

You had the perfect plot. The ideal mix of suspense, stakes, and setting. But it just isn’t gelling. Your characters are belly flopping, your twist is hardly a meander, and your pacing is more nag than thoroughbred.

You’re lost.

Well, flip back open that computer, because 12 international bestselling writers are here to get your thriller back on track. They’ve shared tips and knowhow that will help you craft a complete novel, get you unstuck, and just maybe push you to the top of the charts.


The first step to a bestselling thriller starts at the very first line. Don’t wait until the end of the chapter to hook the reader; by then it’s too late. Instead, set it right away. Line one.

“The first sentence has to have a solid punch,” says Steve Berry, bestselling author of . Of course your work isn’t

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Interese conexe

Mai multe de la Writer's Digest

Writer's Digest8 min citite
Losing the Big One
There’s a line from Mad Men that resonates with anyone who has ever worked as a freelancer: “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.” That uncertainty is why the freelance life isn’t for everyone; some folks prefer the stability o
Writer's Digest6 min cititePsychology
Desire Drives Story
At the outset of any story, most characters find themselves beset by the following motivational factors: • A state of LACK: Something is missing from his life. • This lack speaks to an unfulfilled YEARNING, or dream of life: the kind of person the ch
Writer's Digest3 min citite
I Had My Daughter in Midlife and She Became My Writing Muse
My husband jokes with me that my midlife crisis was having my now 11-year-old daughter in my 40s. I started my career in publishing as Associate Beauty Editor at Woman’s World magazine in the late ’90s. Then I was a magazine editor-in-chief for five