You have an idea for a great thriller. It’s been brewing for weeks inside your head and it’s finally time to come out. You sit down open Scrivener or word doc and wait for the ideas to come flowing out…and they do. The only problem is, they’re just thoughts. Bits and pieces of a great story with no real structure. What do you do?

Fiction Formula has the solution. Over the last few months we’ve been building a complete series of steps to create your story’s structure and finally, we have it all right here for you in one big ass easy to follow post.

Welcome to Thriller Story Structure: The Complete Series.

Below you’ll find a series of posts in order from story concept to the resolution 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 structure a thriller and you’ll be off to writing your novel!

The key to developing a great thriller is to begin with a great story concept. Simply put, a concept is “an intriguing story idea that can be stated in a few words and is easily understood by all.”  Writers use concepts to serve as a baseline, or foundation, to further develop all of the other elements of a story. READ MORE…

If you want to write a great thriller, you are going to need a great premise. A premise will help flesh out what your story is about, and will keep you focused on the conflict and the characters as you write your first draft. READ MORE…

Thriller Story Structure, Pt. 3: Hook

There are two types of hooks in storytelling. One is what makes your thriller unique and compelling; the other piques readers’ interest, and keeps them turning pages.  We are going to focus on the latter hook, but it is important to understand the former as well. READ MORE…

A good story idea will help guide a writer’s creative process as he or she crafts an effective thriller. On the other hand, if a writer attempts to write a novel from a less effective concept, it may be difficult to craft a good story. Let’s look at a few examples of both. READ MORE…

The first plot point is best understood as when the protagonist first experiences, and is affected by, the conflict that is the basis for your thriller. Once the protagonist becomes engaged with the conflict, that conflict will drive the story until the climax. The appearance of the first plot point effectively ends the story’s setup. Once it appears, the plot moves into the conflict stage. READ MORE…

In Parts One and Two of our review of thriller plot structure, we looked very closely at the setup of a story. Now, we will look at another critical phase of the thriller you are preparing to write: the response. READ MORE…

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So what is a first pinch point, and where can you find them in a typical thriller? As  discussed in an earlier article, the first pinch point is normally defined as “a structural component within your story that gives the readers their first glimpse of the dark forces facing your character.” READ MORE…

So, just what is the midpoint?  The midpoint is best described as  “the location in the novel where new information enters the story .  .  .that changes the contextual experience and understanding of either the reader, the hero, or both.” READ MORE…

The Part 3 Attack is exactly what it sounds like. This is the point in the story where the protagonist “literally fights back, hatches a plan, enlists assistance, demonstrates courage, shows initiative. READ MORE…

Pacing in a thriller is everything, especially after the initial setup. So many thrillers begin with promise, only to bog down in the middle. Fortunately, there are numerous literary devices we can apply in our story to keep the story’s pace on track. READ MORE…

The second plot point is often defined as “the final injection of new information into the story, after which no new expository information may enter, and which puts a final piece of narrative information in play that gives the hero everything she or he needs to become the primary catalyst in the story’s conclusion.” READ MORE…

Story resolution can best be defined as “the entire ending of the story that gives the reader a sense of calm and finality following the action and excitement of the climax.” READ MORE…

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