Thriller Writing: The Importance of Efficacy and a Driving Plot

James North-Blog Post PhotoWriting a hard-hitting, suspenseful, action-packed, fast pace thriller is much more of a challenge than many, including some critics, may care to admit. Most modern thrillers, regardless of category (crime, political, espionage, etc.) are plot-driven and the style employed by their writers, though there are many variations, tends to deliberately avoid prose steeped in metaphor and exhaustive description—the preferred style extolled by literary critics. Seldom do we hear critics recognize the fast pace thriller for anything more than its story line. Comments about Tom Clancy’s novels after his death in early October 2013 are a case in point. According to one notable critic, Clancy’s novels “…were not particularly well written.” The frequent use of comments such as this when referring to a good portion of action-oriented thrillers seems a comparison of apples and oranges, especially in this case where the critic seemed to be suggesting that Clancy’s work lacks literary sophistication.

Continue reading