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10 Bestsellers Riff on 10 of the All-Time Best Thrillers

Lee Child, David Baldacci, Tess Gerritsen and more sound off on some of the bestselling thriller novels of all time.

LEE CHILD on Theseus and the Minotaur (1500 B.C.)
"The best contemporary thrillers—whenever they are written—will in some way tap into ancient mythic structures."

DAVID BALDACCI on Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train (1950)
"[It] could be a textbook on the art of constructing suspense noun by adjective, small interaction by informative interior monologue."

DOUGLAS PRESTON on Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White (1860)
"The Woman in White created a new genre of fiction, the ‘sensation novel.' … The sensation novel was the progenitor not only of the pithy chapter structure of the modern thriller, but also of the episodic nature of most television dramas, thus exerting a vast and subtle influence on modern storytelling."

LINCOLN CHILD on Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock (1946)
"It's a remarkably poisonous little puff adder of a thriller—eccentric and louche—with language sharp and bright as a rhinestoned buzz saw."

JAMES ROLLINS on Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1954)
"Finney drew on … real-world tensions to add resonance and topicality to this multilayered novel, to stoke the fear and uneasiness lurking in the hearts of his readers."

SANDRA BROWN on Evelyn Anthony's The Rendezvous (1967)
"A trait found in all of Evelyn Anthony's books, the distinction that elevates them above others of the genre: The lines between good and evil are blurred. She creates delicious ambiguities."

JOHN LESCROART on Brian Garfield's Death Wish (1972) "He created an archetypical hero who continues to be a mainstay of popular fiction and film—the average man driven by circumstances outside of his control to become an avenging vigilante."

TESS GERRITSEN on Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle (1978)
"Follett has established a reputation as a fearless storyteller capable of surprising even his longtime readers."

DAVID MORRELL on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (1939)
"A brilliant example of how a mystery can also be a thriller."

STEVE BERRY on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (2003)
"The real contribution of Dan Brown and his marvelously inventive story is the effect that both he and his publisher had on the international suspense thriller. Together, they breathed life back into something that was all
but dead."

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

Here are a few tips for writing personal essays from the Publishing Insights column of the March/April 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between dispel and expel with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Author and writing instructor Laura Davis discusses the process of starting, stopping, and starting again with her new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars.

From Our Readers

Which Writer or Work Made You Think About Point of View in a Different Way and Why?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers question: Which writer or work made you think about point of view in a different way and why? Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

The kind of research you do can make or break your story's authenticity. Author Blake Sanz offers 4 tips on research for your novels and stories beyond getting the facts right.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Annual Writing Competition Early-Bird Deadline, Seven WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Annual Writing Competition early-bird deadline, seven WDU courses starting this week, and more!

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

Small but mighty, picture books help raise children into lifelong readers. Children's book author Diana Murray offers 3 big tips for writing a picture book like a pro.

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

Lessons in writing can come from various forms of art or entertainment. Author Alverne Ball shares 5 things he learned about writing from watching soap operas.

From Script

Writing from an Intimate Point of View and Adding Essential Elements to Solidify Your Screenplay (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, TV writer Kate Sargeant shares a first-hand look on her new digital series that was a life-changing experience. Plus an interview with filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, a new installment from ‘Ask the Coach’ and more!