- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: LDB Publishing (November 17, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1906669007
- ISBN-13: 978-1906669003
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ingredients of a Good Thriller
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Top Customer Reviews
Different Types of Thrillers: Plots; Settings; Crime Scene; A Good Start
Characters: Overview; Sleuth; Sidekick; Villian; Victim; Anti-Hero; Red Herring; Enabler
Showing and Shaping Characters: Showing Character; Making the Goodie Really Good; Making the Baddie Really Bad; Dialogue and Language; What Type of Language?; Comic Relief; Relationship Trouble
Approaches and Details: Atmosphere; Make'em Flinch; How to Make A Kill A Crowd Pleaser; Setpieces; The "Pow" Factor; Milk The Suspense; The Feel of It; Humour Potential; Music That Thrills; Use Reality
Last But Not Least
Don't Give Up!; Recommended Crime Films; Recommended Crime Books; Afterward; Conclusion - The Essentials
On the positive side, Wood does a nice job hitting on all the major elements that would need to be present in a thriller. You obviously need to determine who your characters are, how they behave and interact, and how you can consistently carry that through the plot. You also have to understand dialogue (a pet peeve of mine). If it's not realistic, then the writing falls flat. His recommendation to pay attention to conversations you hear all around you is excellent. Think of it as a free workshop in learning how real people talk.
Where I had issues with the book was in the expected target vs. all the examples.Read more ›
Positing the all important question "what grabs the attention", Mr. Wood enhances his ideas and concepts by comparing the material with examples from well known books, feature films and television series. Personally I enjoyed this approach and believe in doing so he successfully illuminated and brought to life his ideas. It also served the purpose of keeping the reader focused and interested from beginning to end.
`The Ingredients Of A Good Thriller' is a useful, pragmatic, insightful and enjoyable read whether you plan to become a novelist or not. Maybe it's not the ultimate sourcebook for the novice writer, but it's certainly a solid place to begin.
I wish I had the chance to read this paragraph before purchasing this book as it very indicative of what is to follow. His chapters are very short (some may find this appealing) as if when he writes he is is afraid of developing and presenting his own writing but instead gives you the Cliff Notes from the most obvious analysis of big Hollywood movies. He obviously wanted to get in on the subject of the movies and novels that he loves. Just as in his first paragraphs there are words left out, "this (book) is for you" or his words are not considered as in "This book explores the area" instead of "subject" and with his condensation of the subject the depth was supposedly left out of this book supposedly out of consideration for space and not his ability to go into depth which seems more apparent.
If you are looking for a book on writing thrillers look elsewhere this is a book with a lot of examples of the obvious from hit movies and a few novels but not an informative book on writing, the book of a fan who likes Crime stories.
He casts his net quite widely, including James Bond stories, the Godfather series, Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and other productions outside the `whodunit' category that Chandler restricted himself to. I suppose this is only realistic - it would not make much sense these days to try to exclude so much of what has become the mainstream. If the consequence of that is that a good deal of the advice offered could apply generally to novels that are nobody's idea of `thrillers', then that is a consequence we just have to accept. Chris Wood proceeds mainly by examples, and without actually having counted the examples I'd guess that more than half of them are taken from films. Even assuming that his advice is aimed at authors and not film producers or directors I still have no real problem with that until he raises the matter of background music, which surely should have been restricted to a footnote at the most. On the other hand, if films can feature so prominently, why is there not more about detective series on television? Some of these, e.g.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived on time; Exactly as described; Very Pleased with product. Good Book.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Ingredients Of A Good Thriller
It seems ironic to me that a book that presents "how to" content for a genre of books strongly embraced by readers worldwide would not... Read more
I enjoyed this book. I believe that has something of value for writers, readers and reviewers.
It is not only for aspiring writers, although it may well be of... Read more
Tapping into a large market, surely, is this book which offers guidance in writing thrillers. The market is actually bigger than the generic term "thriller" suggests. Read morePublished on January 9, 2009 by John Austin
If you are thinking about writing a thriller as a novel or screenplay, "The Ingredients of a Good Thriller," should be in your Writer's Toolbox, along with Stephen King's excellent... Read morePublished on January 4, 2009 by D. Buxman
This book can be fun if you like, well, "thrillers" in a very loose sense indeed. There are a lot of movies and books described herein that are a long way from what I would call a... Read morePublished on December 22, 2008 by David W. Straight
While the self-publishing industry has created opportunities for thousands of aspiring writers to share their creative visions with the world, many of the works I've been paid to... Read morePublished on December 15, 2008 by L. A. Kane