How to write suspense.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thriller or Mystery?

One of my favorite books on how-to-write suspense is titled "How to Write Killer Fiction." In it, the author discusses the difference between a mystery novel, which is like a puzzle, and a suspense novel, which is more like a roller coaster of emotions. But I recently found a great post by Allison Jae titled "So You Want to Write a Thriller." If you're at all interested in writing a suspense novel, I really advise you check this post out. :)

Here's the opening paragraphs:

"The novel of suspense is an offshoot of a mystery, and in the minds of mystery editors the “suspense” tag is more a marketing ploy than anything else. Since most bookstores budget for just a certain number of mysteries a season, putting the suspense or thriller label on a novel helps the publisher get around the quota problem.

"There are differences. The mystery is first and foremost a puzzle based on whodunit or how. The thriller is better seen as a howcatchum. Another way of looking at the difference is in recognizing that in the mystery we don’t know any more than the detective. In a thriller we usually don’t know less than the bad guy."

Allison Jae also gives more information on techno-thriller, the medical thriller, and the woman in jeopardy.

Happy reading! :)

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