Writing a great thriller novel is both a difficult and daunting task. There is no perfect formula to writing such a success story for it to become one for the thriller genre records. Sure, there are some tips and keys here and there, but there is no absolute standard to it. Sometimes, it involves a little bit of luck and a ton of hard work.
Here are some Cs to writing a great thriller novel (or at least try to):
From the get-go, your opening must be strong and solid in such a way as to immediately capture the readers’ attention and hopefully get them hooked on it. It may start off with a question, a crime committed, a line quoted from a best-selling book or famous poet, or even a simple family dinner but with an added twist of creepiness and eeriness to the whole feel of the scene. That spells thrill right there.
This one may be a bit tricky since each one has his or her own perspective of what is creative or not. Each person has a different view towards a certain topic, and can consider some things as art, and others as trash. But, you can be certain that out of the millions of people around the world, there will always be a few who will consider your creativity as beautiful. There will always be readers who will appreciate the effort of your work. This is where luck also comes in.
Since you already have a solid opening, filled with creativity so that the reader is now hooked on what may possibly happen towards the climax, you have to be consistent. Your novel needs to be attentive towards what might possibly be pondering in the readers’ mind. For example, if the whole theme of your thriller is about a mystery crime yet to be solved, you have to maintain the whole theme of the novel as that. You cannot just deviate from mysterious to sudden fairy tale Disney-type ending. That would be a disaster.
Most readers immediately look for a character they can relate to, someone they see themselves in. Your characters have to be diverse, but must also be in harmony with all the other characters, or must be completely opposite to the main protagonist and/or antagonist. As stated above, each person has his or her own perspective. So each person looks at himself or herself differently than others do. Your characters must have some moral (or immoral at that) goal as to his or her purpose for being part of the cast.
Remember number 3? This is where you resolve those questions with answers as to the plot twists and unsolved issues. Since you are writing a mystery crime thriller novel, you must settle as to who or whom are those responsible for the crime and how did he or they do it. Yes, you can also conclude that this is a case of an unsolved crime that may never be closed – that is effective too. A “hanging” ending if you may. Whatever the ending is, you must conclude your novel the same way you opened it, catchy, creative and consistent.