If you are a thriller writer, then your purpose is to make readers experience the following symptoms: racing pulse, sweaty palms, and obsessive reading. But for this, you need to build a very intriguing plot. Young writers don’t have that much experience when it comes to keeping readers engaged throughout the entire read. Most of the times, they are just not patient enough and cut the action by introducing a disappointing solution. This kind of intervention drives readers away. They are always able to tell the difference between good quality texts and shallow ones.


We will help thriller creators improve their writing, by presenting five essential tips to creating the best thriller plot. Respect these pieces of advice and soon, your texts will be more appealing and convincing.

  1. Put the most loved characters in danger

At first, build characters who are to be loved by the audience. Readers must find things in common with these ones and relate at a big scale. They must identify themselves with the personages as to get more and more involved in the action. For example, if your target audience is high school students, then the main characters will also be students. Let’s say we are dealing with a group of young girls. They are all beautiful and smart, but one of them is really mean and manipulating. She is the bully of the school.

After you find a certain thing the character desperately needs, put as many obstacles in the way of achieving it as possible. Start small and gradually increase the danger. Build a bunch of intrigues around the action as to always have the opportunity to come up with new problems.

When danger comes, make sure that it is as real as possible. And also justified. Otherwise, the story becomes awkward and cheap. For instance, the mean girl starts getting anonymous threads on her mobile phone. She becomes more and more anxious, but she does not share the news with her friends.

  1. Add a high dose of suspense

Contrary to all believes a thriller is not about tons of action. It is really kept alive by suspense, which is created by lack of action.

Start making the story more and more complicated for the reader by only telling half of the truth. Or even better, just one third of it. Then, make the danger approach, but not reach the action.

For example, the mean girl suddenly disappears during a girls’ night. Nobody knows what happened to her. After desperate tries of finding her, a body is discovered near the girl’s house. Police states it is hers. But after the burial, the true action begins. The other girls start receiving weird messages that soon become threads. Who is the author? It is possible that their friend is still alive somewhere?

Then, always be close to solving the plot, but never come to an end with it. Delay the solution as much as possible. Let the danger come and go.

For instance, girls are always on the edge of finding the messages’ sender and their lost friend. But things happen in the process, and they get involved in crime scenes without even realizing it. Soon, they are framed and police consider them crime suspects.

  1. Don’t exaggerate with violence

When you eat cookies all the time, there is nothing special about them anymore. The same goes with violence inside the text. Readers won’t be impressed when a crime happens, if the book is crammed full with them. So keep it low and maximize the effect. When a character is killed, use the voice of others as to turn it into a tragedy.

Next, do never kill unknown characters. Readers won’t care if a boy who never said more than two lines will be eliminated from the book. Instead, they will empathize with ex-boyfriends who used to always be around, for example.

  1. Always be one step ahead readers

Readers think they know who is behind all the drama? Well, they must by all means be wrong. Deceive them by pointing out the wrong character over and over again.

For example, a girl’s boyfriend is always chasing the group and dresses just like the suspect. Girls are sure this is the guilty one for everything and so does the audience. But when confronted, it turns out that the man was just gathering information for writing a… thriller book.

  1. Pay attention to the language and structure

When getting immersed into the text, writers often forget to be careful with the words. First of all, thrillers are not poems. As a consequence, the main concern in here is not to display things beautifully, but intriguing. Then, don’t exaggerate with depictions. Instead, include a lot of dialogue that will fire up the book, making it more vivid. Think like a scenarist, and even imagine the novel being screened.

In conclusion, it is not that hard to create a thriller plot. You just have to keep the suspense high and the readers engaged.

Linda Craig is writing enthusiast and a professional editor at http://www.assignmentmasters.co.uk. Her passion is modern British Literature and digital education tools