AuthorsDen.com  Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Edward Patterson, iGina LoBiondo, iBonnie Milani, iPeter Oszmann, iDan Ronco, iCarol Fowler, iDietmar Rothe, i
  Home > Action/Thriller > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Dan Ronco

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 43 titles
· 9 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
·
Member Since: Nov, 2007

   Sitemap
   Contact Author
   Message Board
   Read Reviews

Books
· 2031: The Singularity Pogrom

· PeaceMaker: A Thriller

· Unholy Domain


Short Stories
· A View of United States Energy Supplies in 2028

· Softrware Keeps Getting Smarter

· The Unique Structure of my Novels

· Dan Ronco Interviewed on Fascinating Authors

· Listen to Dan introduce Unholy Domain

· Listen to Dan Read from PeaceMaker


Articles
· My Favorite Television Sci-Fi Characters

· On Science Fiction Characters

· Looking for a New Member to Join our Writing Group

· Where does the Darkness come from?

· Protect Your PC: Part Two

· Will Humanity Survive the Singularity?

· Where Will the Engineers Come From?

· Will YouLive to be 100?

· Lifeblogging

· Protect Your PC


News
· Midwest Book Review: 2031: The Singularity Pogrom

· Material Witness: a story that develops at breakneck speed and is cinemati

· Win a Free Copy of Unholy Domain

· Book Chase: Unholy Domain is a rollercoaster ride

· Soulless Machine Review: UD is an Action Packed Coming of Age Story

· NothingBinding.com: Unholy Domain almost screams Look around you!

· J. Kaye's Book Blog: Unholy Domain is a real page turner.

Dan Ronco, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

What Makes A Great Thriller?
By Dan Ronco
Last edited: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2008



Share    Print   Save  Become a Fan
Recent articles by
Dan Ronco

• Where Will the Engineers Come From?
• Superhumans: The Next Step?
• Long Term Friendships
• Looking for a New Member to Join our Writing Group
• The Future is not Star Trek
• Will Humanity Survive the Singularity?
• My Favorite Television Sci-Fi Characters
           >> View all 34
Only a few books or movoes are first-class thrillers. In this article, I try to explain why.

 

 


 

Every once in a while you read a novel or see a movie that keeps you glued to the story with such excitement that you can't turn away until you know how it turns out. Everything is moving so fast, and you're so swept up in rapidly unfolding events that you don't dare leave the story for even a moment. The tension builds; you feel every jolt until a breathtaking climax leaves you exhausted.

That, my friend, is a thriller.

How did that movie grab you by the neck and take control? Why that novel and not a hundred other novels?

There isn't a simple answer. There never is when you're examining a work of art. I don't pretend to know all the secrets of a great thriller, but I've learned a few things I'll share with you.

The first and most important ingredient is emotion. If you don't feel the story in your gut, it's not a thriller. And not just any type of emotion. A great romance can break your heart, but that's not the emotion that fuels a thriller. Not that romance can't be part of a thriller, but it's not the what's-going-to- happen-next excitement of a thriller.

A great thriller builds up to an emotional high that lifts you up and takes you along for the ride. Consider Rick Deckard "retiring" androids in Blade Runner or Clarice Starling hunting Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. At first we tag along with Rick or Clarice, then gradually bond with them and feel every emotion they experience. They are both vulnerable, flawed characters, but we can feel for them, and ultimately, feel with them. Their highs and lows become ours.

A great thriller is unpredictable going forward and completely logical looking backward. Who would have guessed that a creature would burst out of a guy's chest in Alien? Or that the FBI agent in charge of the investigation would be the killer in The Poet? On the other hand, as you look back, it's believable that this alien creature could be so dangerous or that the FBI agent was the killer.

The plot also features deadlines. If they don't capture the villain soon, something terrible --- an assassination, a virus outbreak, a nuclear explosion - is going to take place. You can almost hear the clock ticking. Or is that your pulse?

A great villain is a necessary part of a first-rate thriller. Perhaps a charming psychopath such as Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs or megalomaniac Dianne Morgan from Unholy Domain. The villain must be more than a match for the protagonist, who battles overwhelming odds while in constant danger. A great villain will stir feelings of hatred, fear, revulsion and maybe a little admiration in the reader or moviegoer.

The setting and all the action must be believable. For example, if the action takes place in a specific locale, then all the details (streets, landmarks, major buildings) had better be correct. If bad writing forces the reader to stop believing, then all the air comes out of the story.

And, of course, there is the climax. It must be exciting, unpredictable, resolve the major issues and yet remain consistent with the storyline. Fatal Attraction and Jaws have terrific climaxes that bring the story to a thrilling conclusion.

So that's it --- a few insights as to what makes a great thriller. Difficult to describe, but when you see one, you know it.


About the Author:Dan Ronco is a writer of technology thrillers and near future science fiction. PeaceMaker, his first novel, was published in 2004 and his second, Unholy Domain, was released April, 2008. Dan mixes visionary ideas with a touch of romance and humor. Learn more about Dan at http://www.danronco.com/

 

 

Web Site Outside the Box
f

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!



Books by
Dan Ronco



Unholy Domain

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..




PeaceMaker: A Thriller

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..




2031: The Singularity Pogrom

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..


Popular
Action/Thriller Articles
  1. Good Mourning, Amerika!
  2. Narcissists, Social Media, and Porn
  3. Democracy for Whom
  4. Bonnie and Clyde, c. 2016
  5. Seals, Sea Gulls and other Sounds
  6. A Beautiful Mind, book review
  7. Sandra Bullock Goes Dog Crazy for Dogs wit
  8. Why I doubt the handwritten Emily Dickinso
  9. Fog From A Sailor's Perspective
  10. Harrappans may have lived, died by monsoon
  11. If You Don't Like How I Write, PLEASE DON'
  12. PowerPoint Presentation | Great resources
  13. BEWARE THE TRILATERALISTS!
  14. Timepieces Masterpieces of Chronometry
  15. Thankful
  16. Elderly Surfers
  17. The Rights of Women and Children Under Tal
  18. Writing the Other Gender in Fiction
  19. Justifiable Homicide
  20. Something Should Be Done About Somalia

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.