How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters

e-Book & Magazine. January 14, 2011 by d3pz4i.

How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters
St. Martin's Press | 2010 | ISBN: 0312575076 | 295 pages | PDF | 114.76 Mb

The author’s fifth guide to writing “damn good fiction” offers a useful and entertaining look at the process of writing a thriller. Some readers may be confused, at first, by his seemingly overbroad definition of a thriller (the Iliad? Miss Congeniality?), but thrillers, Frey argues, should be defined by their key elements: heroes with impossible missions, theatrically extreme villains, a series of obstacles, a rousing climax. The author leads us through the process of putting together a thriller by creating several stories and then showing us how to elaborate their plots and how to design their characters. It’s an interesting approach, sort of a hands-on seminar.
He also refers frequently to various well-known thrillers (The Boys from Brazil, Jaws, The Day of the Jackal, etc.) and explains why they work the way they do. By adopting a practical approach—showing us in specific terms how to build a character, for example, rather than simply giving us general pointers—Frey makes the prospect of writing a novel feel considerably less daunting.

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