Thrillers are generally designed to induce readers into a state of suspense, excitement, anticipation, and anxiety, but how do you really make the novel that you’re writing into a “Thriller”? Well, generally, here are a few simple things that you need to create that “Thriller Novel Atmosphere”:
Transitions, Twists, and Turns
The very core of a thriller is almost always the setting, shifting from a seemingly static, normal, mood into something more dynamic and anticipative. For example, how the main characters seemingly wander off from where is normal into the great unknown, or into some cabin in some random woods, as how it almost always has been. These create that “thrill or suspense”, as everything seemingly transitions from a normal day, a normal life, into a “what the hell just happened?! What’s next?” state for both the readers and the characters.
Keep Secrets, and Then, Don’t
Have a secret ready, or better yet, have secrets ready. Something heavy, painful, or game-changing, build those secrets up and slowly unveil them, chapter from chapter. How you seamlessly apply this to your plot and transitions can make a difference. Just remember to not reveal everything. A perfect thriller will leave you thrilled and making up endings to the point that you’d go all loco and vengeful that you’d probably end up killing the author if he wouldn’t tell you what happened after.
Keep Them Smart in Mid-chapters
Your readers will probably know so much within the mid-chapters. Let them admire themselves for a bit. Anticipate what is most-likely to happen, and make the obvious happen once or maybe even twice, and they will fall prey into thinking that they know what’s coming next. Then, all of the sudden, make the unexpected happen, and just like that you’ll have them “Mind-blown”. Like maybe “Jon Snow is Alive!”
Have you not seen or read Game of Thrones? Great twists mostly come after a death of some kind, especially if it is from the main characters. Make use of this to keep your readers engaged and hateful (this is where the money is). Okay, maybe don’t kill everyone all at once. Leave a “Jon Snow”, or anyone from the first chapter, so the readers will have something or someone to hold on to, someone they’ll truly be attached to, but in the end, feel free. It’s your world, make it as controversial as you’d like.
Relatable is good
It is good to remember that the best kind of atmospheres for thrillers are always the ones with some familiarity in it, so your readers can relate. After all, you are not only messing with your characters’ lives but also with the minds of your relating readers. Think, who would be reading this novel? A teenager? A book worm? Jon Snow? Just don’t have it too common or general that you lose the uniqueness of how the characters are, or on how the setting is.
Now all you have to do is familiarize and put all these elements together and start making that award-winning thriller novel.