When WiDo asked me to change it to a thriller, I though, "Sure! No biggie!" My editor gave me suggestions and I did them. "Perfect," I thought.
Except it wasn't. Turns out, there's a whole lot more to writing a thriller than I thought. It's all about the suspense, the mystery, the uneasy feeling that persists through the entire book. Now that was a bit harder to do.
I've spent the past two weeks working on pace. Making sure that the novel doesn't ever stop being a thriller. It's okay to have moments of breathing, I think. And comic relief. But then, the heart-stopping action must pick up again.
Yesterday on Twitter there was a chat on thriller novels that I, unfortunately, wasn't able to attend. Turns out they do these chats frequently, with a slightly different twist on the topic. Isn't that amazing? I can research writing a thriller from Twitter! Last night's topic was "The Thrill of Keeping it Real" or something like that. The entire chat has been transcribed here. Let me share with you some things that readers want out of a thriller:
"what matters is if it SOUNDS real. There may actually be real things that no one would believe!"
"author needs to be careful about complex things, too. For instance, In Dan Brown's Digital Fprtress, he has all kinds of computer details and he gets some critical stuff wrong. Ruined book 4 me as a programmer."
"people will accept fantastic things if it doesn't *contradict* reality."
"Building on reality to create new possibly realities is where I believe the cool factor resides."
"I love stories that make me believe things my rational mind wouldn't normally accept. Storytelling at its best!"
"The writer's job is to make anything seem possible. This is so much harder than it sounds like it should be!"
"Making it realistic enough that people suspend disbelief is certainly key."
What do you look for in a good thriller? What is it that keeps you interested?