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.

SET THE HOOK

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

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