Screenwriting : Books on writing a psychological thriller? by Amelia Fergusson

Amelia Fergusson

Books on writing a psychological thriller?

Hi Can anyone recommend a book on techniques for writing a thriller? :-)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hi Amelia! I recommend "Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays" by Lucy V. Hay. It's not a typical "how to" book; it's much better. The author delves into the history of the thriller genre; what goes into producing these films; she breaks down the writing of a thriller from premise to first draft all the way through rewrites and feedback. She also encourages writers to consider how to make their thriller a more viable prospect. Anyway, overall, I found this book to be a great resource. I refer to it often. :)

Amelia Fergusson

Thank you Beth. I actually put that one in my Amazon basket lol. I guess I'll go ahead and buy it then :-)

Jenny Masterton

Didn't Hitchcock right a book about this.

Shawn Speake

Truby's audio series on thrillers is amazing.

Kerry Douglas Dye

Good recommend, @Beth. Might check that out.

Amelia Fergusson

Thank you Shawn :-)

Niksa Maric

Here's a tip Amelia. Think what you wanna be. A psychopathic killer or let's say, you start killing to revenge someone's death. Place yourself in that killers mind and try to come with some way to kill someone. (Don't do it for real, just try to imagine) write down whatever you can come up with, any idea, reason why, where, when, how would you do it. Always start with reason why the killer or some other character would do that, it doesn't have to be killing, unless you know several ways how to kill a person and I'm not talking about guns or knifes, there are other way to kill someone. You can kill his/hers will to live, make someone angry enough so he/she would start killing.... I'm pretty sure you will find a good advices in books but the original twist needs to come from you, from your head. I hope this didn't sound scary but that's the way how most writers do things, we all use our imagination combined with whatever experience we have, from real life.

Rich Goldstein

I think Niksa provides some excellent advice. If I were to add anything to that advice it would be just follow the typical screenwriting practice of writing a good compelling story with depth and complexities to the characters' personalities and keep them in character throughout - maybe up to a point. For audiences, the surprises in psychological thrillers can come when the character then does something unexpected - out of character. For me, these types of events seem to have to most impact and make a film memorable.

Rafael Pinero

Beth, thanks for recommending that book

Beth Fox Heisinger

You're welcome, Rafael. :)

Vince Conside

Read S7VEN

Amelia Fergusson

Great advice from all of you. Thank you. I'm printing of the S7VEN script as I write this :-)

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