Do you know the steps best-sellers use to outline their novels? Me neither, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn one time, and that makes me smart. Just kidding. Seriously, I’ve poured over several best-selling thriller novels in the last couple of years searching for the secret that makes them sell like hotcakes and do you know what I found? There is no real secret to their stories, but there is a common element to each book I reviewed. Story structure and outlining. Whether it’s Grisham or Sandford, both follow a similar story structure and outlining method that makes a reader keep reading. yes, they’re both word-smiths, but in this writers opinion, it’s not the choice of words that make the story, it’s the ride and Grisham and Sanford know how to deliver.

Over the last few months we’ve been building a complete series of steps to help you learn how to outline your novel using story structure as a foundation. After all, it’s what writers like Grisham and Sandford use every day and finally, we have it all right here for you in one big ass easy to follow post.

Welcome to Thriller Outlining Series: The Complete Series.

Below you’ll find a series of posts in order from basic outlining fundamental to writing your first draft and everything between. So sit back, relax and pick a spot where you’re having the most difficulty, or start from the beginning. By the end of this complete series, you’ll have a much better understanding of how to outline a thriller and you’ll be off to writing your novel!

To outline is to follow a formula. The formula starts with understanding what a thriller is, what it is not, and what readers expect. This post is the beginning to the outlining formula. In it you’ll the basics of thrillers and what you need to provide to your readership. READ MORE…

A story concept is the first real step in the outlining formula. Learn how to conceptualize a story idea and a few nifty tips and one online course that will help you come up with an endless supply of thriller concepts. READ MORE…

Loglines and increasing character stakes is the next step in your outlining formula. If you can tell your story within one sentence, that means you have a viable idea. Learn the logline formula in this post. READ MORE…

Is it really about character or is it more about plot? Think of your favorite thriller movie. Can you rattle off the synopsis like you can rattle off the hero or villain’s every line? Of course not, and that’s because an interesting and three dimensional character will take the dullest of plots and make a story great. Download the character worksheet inside this blog post.  READ MORE…

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The meat of this outlining formula. This post talks about story structure and how it plays a vital role in whether or not your story makes it into the hands of a reader or not. This post is the basis of the Thriller Outlining 101 course that is available for free inside the vault. READ MORE…

Raise your hand if you struggle with scenes? Hand raised. I admit I could learn a lot more about scenes and particularly the scene sequel system, but this post is a great way to learn the basics. READ MORE…

The hardest part about writing your first draft is finishing it. That’s true, but it’s even more difficult if your story isn’t following the proper story structure. Learn some tips on finishing your first draft and how your story structure plays a role. READ MORE…

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