Rules for an Aspiring Techno-Thriller Writer

Rules for an Aspiring Techno-Thriller Writer: I’ve been asked several times for advice to a new techno-thriller writer. I started making a list, and it’s gotten a lot longer than I expected. These are all things I’ve learned since I got into the business. Some were as Tom Clancy’s co-author (apprentice); others were after I struck […]

Why Setting Must Be Antagonistic

The Necessity of an Antagonistic Setting

The Necessity of an Antagonistic Setting A trait of a bestselling writer is the ability to raise the stakes for the protagonist. A writer often turns to obvious means of adding stress, tension, and conflict through characterization, dialogue, plot twists, and emotive conflict. Those are powerful tools, but an antagonistic setting means shaky ground for […]

Writing Tip #1: Talk to Real People

Writing Tip #1: Talk to Real People As someone who has been writing police procedurals on the page and on the screen for more than thirty years, I take research for my books and TV shows very seriously. The absolute best way to draw your characters is to talk to real people about their stories. […]

Unraveling the Mystery of Crime Readers

Unraveling the Mystery of Crime Readers

Unraveling the Mystery of Crime Readers Crime readers don’t like crime at all. What they like is justice… Item: A well-dressed woman sips tea—one fashionable leg crossed over the other, a heeled shoe bouncing on her toe—as she casually reads about the coroner extracting seaweed from the rotting flesh of a bloated corpse too long […]

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Ten Writing Tips

Lisa Gardner’s Top Five Writing Tips

Lisa Gardner’s Top Five Writing Tips When I started my career as a suspense novelist, I was seventeen years old. I wrote my first novel on a shared computer in the college computer lab during my free time after my classes, homework and work-study job were all completed. Basically, I drafted three unpublished novels in […]

keys to write by randy wayne white

Don’t Start your Typewriter Without these Five Writing Tips

Don’t Start your Typewriter Without these Five Writing Tips I wanted to discuss some of the “nuts and bolts” of the writing business from my observations and lessons I’ve learned over the forty years I have been writing. This profession has changed drastically over the past several years with the rise of self-publishing and e-books. […]

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Ten Writing Tips

Five Tips for Writing a Suspense Novel

Five Tips for Writing a Suspense Novel The pops of an old house settling. The creak of a door. The haunting silence of being alone. These are some of my favorite sounds, so choosing to write suspense wasn’t a stretch for me when I decided to give penning a novel a go. Over the years, […]

Can a murder scene have a taste?

Let Your Senses Run Wild

Let Your Senses Run Wild   As a suspense and thriller author, I write a lot of murder scenes. It’s a hazard of the job. Sometimes I write them in the moment, as the blade is being swung or the trigger is pulled; sometimes it’s the seconds that immediately follow. And other times, the scenes […]

Five Ways to Begin Your Book

Five Ways to Begin Your Book My favorite part of writing is the beginning of a book. It’s exciting because I feel free to do anything I want. I haven’t painted myself into a corner yet. Or questioned who came up with this stupid plot? Or slogged through the middle where I’m looking around for […]

What’s at Stake? Creating Conflict in your Books

  What’s at Stake? Creating a serious edge-of-the-seat conflict in books… There’s a tongue-in-cheek saying in higher education circles that academic politics are so nasty because the stakes are so low. It’s another way of saying that the intensity of a conflict should match what’s at stake. This is particularly true in thrillers. Who’d want […]