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How a Thriller can hook the reader

Suspense killed him...

That is exactly what Thriller is about. Is getting out of your mind to get into someone else's mind. Is to shake the chair. Make you tremble. Give you intrigue, anxiety, creeps and even the desire of never stopping. Thriller is that genre that either gets you hooked, or it's not good. It must wrap you in such a way that it makes you play with your own thoughts to try to solve something, that only the writer knows, and that he wants and doesn’t want to tell you, all at the same time. Thriller is not a WHAT, but a HOW. How the story is told. And that's why people feel hooked to it.

Patricia Highsmith, recognized author of this category, said "it is impossible to explain how to write a good book", so we will not focus on how to write this genre, but on how to generate the suspense, and keep it during the whole novel by focusing on 3 main aspects: The first page, the characters and the so-called ‘cliffhanger'.

In a Thriller’s plot, surprise is the essence. It is what drives the reader to a roller coaster of events. And page 1 is the first rise that causes a tingling in the stomach with a mixture of anxiety, emotion and nerves. The first page is almost everything. That’s why some people take a long time to write it. In a Thriller, the first part of your story may not be the beginning, nor what happened before, but quite the opposite. It may be the end, or the climax, or a resoundingly strong scene. Yes, strong. So strong to dig into the imagination of the reader and give him the need to discover the rest.

Here the author is free to do and undo as long as he does not tell everything from the beginning and leave unresolved ends. This is crucial in this kind of stories. That the nodes become unraveling, but at the same time entangling a little more. You must know what and when to tell something. What Highsmith did in the first 30 lines was to place some action, something that would concentrate the essence of what would be the rest of the book.

Then there are the characters. These are the pieces of the puzzle. They are those who will show details and hide others, without exceeding surprises. The plot must contain an argument that is not linear so the reader doesn’t get bored, so is better to use a range of characters to play with. In this way, the audience will focus their attention on everyone and try to find out who carried out the crime, who was the one who died, who is lying, or who is the good one.

This brings us to the next important point: The famous "cliffhanger”. Basically, this is the term used when a suspense novel keeps you in suspense because that is how the reader feels: On the edge of the cliff, constantly. According to the journalist Adriana Tejada Cuadrado, writer of 'La Gelba', that anxiety that you get from this kind of stories is part of a Thriller’s style. And generally, for this reason, these novels end in the craziest or most unexpected ways.

Types of Thriller y subgenres:

(By Adriana Tejada, Literup.com)


· Psychological Thriller: It delves into the mind of the characters, in their past, traumas, fears, experiences, etc.

Example: Psychoanalyst, John Katzenbach

· Mystery Thriller: Seeks to solve the mystery of a crazy or maniac character.

Example: Wedding dress by Pierre Lemaitre

· Techno-thriller: Thriller’s suspense is combined with the elements

of science fiction.

Example: Preston & Child

· Spy thriller: A thriller of detectives and spies.

Example: A classic, James Bond.

· Military Thriller: As the name implies, it's about military.

Example: The time of the strange emperors of Ignacio del Valle.

July 9, 2018, 5:28 p.m. 0 Report Embed 5

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