Writing a thriller with Suresh Nair
A thriller takes intricate planning. And while writing a thriller, captivating the audience is key. Here are a few points to keep in mind while penning a thriller in order to keep people hooked to the story.
Unlike any other genre, the fun of a thriller is not in the journey alone, it’s also in a satisfying end. It’s not just the audience alone, who will look forward to the climax of a thriller with eager anticipation but even when you pitch a thriller to an actor, he or she is bound to ask you, “How does it end?”
The best of thrillers are very focused in their storytelling. So every scene has to take the story forward or define your characters. You might have a terrific dinner table scene between the protagonist and his wife, but if it’s irrelevant to your story, then it will surely get chopped away at the editing table.
Even James Bond these days has an emotional stake in his mission. And so does Ethan Hunt. So find a reason for your hero or heroine to be emotionally invested in a mission or an investigation or his journey. Even, the good old Jewel Thief, one of my all time favourite thrillers, in the end became a personal mission for its titular hero.
A thriller could have an abundance of twists and turns but at its core, the story needs to be simple for the audience to understand. You should be able to tell the basic plot in just a couple of sentences. And the more complex your narrative, the simpler should be the basic plot.
Even if some of the details don’t show up in your script, it’s important for you to do some research about the world you’re writing about – whether it’s espionage or medical or corporate. It will help you to plot better and understand how and why your character should act or react in certain situations.
There is no better education as watching movies when it comes to making them. So if you want to write a thriller, it might be nice if you enlighten yourself about the genre by watching the best of them. Unlike a romcom or a drama, thrillers are a craft that need a bit of homework.