Posts Tagged "crime fiction"


I spoke about how I wrote The Ambassador, my alt-historical novel about what might have happened if Israel had existed before the Holocaust, at London’s Jewish Book Week. It’s not always easy to be “real” when you talk about things in public. But I managed to cry a little during this talk. Which is perhaps because the subject touches me so closely, both in terms of my response to the Holocaust and to my...

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How Hammett’s classic ‘The Maltese Falcon’ showed me what kind of writer to be As an undergraduate I studied English literature at Oxford University and I read all I could find of the sort of literary criticism which made novels seem like East German economic analysis. Three years later, I hadn’t learned a thing, except that it was fine to have a room you could take a girl to without having to sneak past your...

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Write a thriller: Make it funny

Write a thriller: Make it funny


Posted By on May 30, 2014

Comedy is a great way to draw readers to a character Thriller writers need to make their characters—particularly the hero—appealing to readers. That’s not always easy, because even the hero of a thriller might have to do some unappealing, nasty things to escape the bad guys and save the day. One important tool in the writer’s box is humor. We like funny guys. Even when their humor is dark. Take Elmore Leonard’s Chili Palmer in “Get...

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Remember how it feels to feel bad, endure it positively, and write it down When something bad happens to a writer, the experience is great material for something bad happening to your characters. Remember the feelings, the way your mind processed it and the sensations of tension in your heart, your veins. Get it all down on paper and save it for when you need to give those emotions to a character. The experience can teach you how to...

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Thriller writers who use Twitter as more than a place for press releases Twitter is about connecting. Some crime novelists, however, clearly don’t write their own tweets. Other thriller writers openly declare that their account is managed by their “team.” I say humbug to this one-way-street view of Twitter. This list includes those who’re very much engaged and worth following: Connect with Harlan Coben Witticisms that seem to come...

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