How to Write a Mystery, Writing Thrillers

Trying your hand at writing thrillers – the most exciting and suspenseful of all genres? Look no further for guidelines on crafting a compelling plot, creating incredible characters, constructing an airtight mystery, and much more.

5 Moral Dilemmas That Make Characters (& Stories) Better

Readers can’t resist turning pages when characters are facing tough choices. Use these 5 keys to weave moral dilemmas into your stories—and watch your fiction climb to new heights. This guest post is by Steven James. James is the award-winning, bestselling author of 12 novels. He enjoys dark roast coffee and...

5 Writing Tips to Creating a Page Turner

Nothing (other than fame and glory) makes an author happier than hearing from a reader who couldn’t put down their book. So what makes readers skip going to bed when they should and instead decide, Just one more chapter? My agent, Barbara Poelle, and I decided to sit down and distill...

Crafting Action For Thrillers

Hi All! Barbara Poelle again….remember yesterday how I was salivating for a new thriller author? I asked my author Nick Petrie (THE DRIFTER, Putnam, out this week!) how he hooked me in…here’s what he had to say. About Nicholas Petrie: He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington,...

8 Tips to Writing Unreliable Narrators

Unreliable narrators have been admired by readers and writer alike since Holden Caulfield set the gold standard—and they’re more popular than ever in today’s bestsellers. Here are 8 reliable ways to make your characters just unreliable enough to keep readers guessing.

9 Practical Tricks for Writing Your First Novel

Whether you're writing your first novel or are struggling with completing a second one (or more), sometimes you need some help focusing and figuring out how to reach your goal. Use these 9 tricks to help you go from first sentence all the way to completed novel.

Bringing Your Readers into the Game

Writing sports-themed action scenes provides an opportunity for an author to engage the passions of three different readers: enthusiasts, well versed in the particular sport featured; others unfamiliar with the specifics of this sport, yet athletes nevertheless; and non-athletes not involved with sports in anyway.

Why I Published 4 Novels in 6 Months

Hi, WD community! Today we’re sharing a guest post from J.E. Fishman, a former editor and literary agent turned author. He has penned Dynamite: A Concise History of the NYPD Bomb Squad and the novels Primacy, Cadaver Blues, and The Dark Pool. His Bomb Squad NYC series of police thrillers launches this month with A Danger to Himself and Others, Death...

5 Ways to Balance Writing and Life

In her insightful panel “Life or Work? Balancing Life’s Demands With Writing,” moderator Joan Johnston (Shattered, Hawk’s Way) quizzed a group of established publishing pros about how, exactly, you can quiet daily demands so that you can get those voices in your head down on the page and into the hands...

Lee Child Debunks the Biggest Writing Myths

Like his famous protagonist, Jack Reacher, Lee Child is a bit of a rogue badass—especially when it comes to his thoughts on writing, and debunking popular writing rules. In his ThrillerFest session “Tell, Don’t Show: Why Writing Rules are Mostly Wrong,” Child battled a few of the biggest writing myths out...

The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing

In a thought-provoking ThrillerFest panel provided by WD managing editor Zachary Petit, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft. Here are seven of their offerings. Have you committed any of them?