Notes From ThrillerFest 2016: Part 2

Here are some more notes from my participation in this year’s Thrillerfest in New York City. I hope other thriller writers find them to be helpful.


·      Use the Myers-Briggs 16 character types for ideas

·      The protagonists and villains should have lives outside the plot

·      Description of characters’ physical appearances needn’t be lengthy

·      The MacGuffin/McGuffin: a motivating element in the story that drives the plot, but serves no other purpose; like a question that must be answered, but the answer is immaterial.

·      Make your characters work by digging deep for their motivation

       o    Motivation can be anything, but it must be believable-verisimilitude is key

·      Readers identify with characters’ flaws more than virtues

       o   Revisit your characters: do they have virtues and flaws?

·      Tell the story through different characters: multiple viewpoints

·      Give each character a voice that differs from all the others

·      Make readers care about the characters: either likeable or compelling characters

·      Make readers participate by showing the character’s traits, not telling the reader

·      Character Arc: redemption is #1, but others include acceptance, change

·      3-dimensioal characters “have skin in the game”

·      The antagonist usually drives the plot

·      It’s okay to incorporate a character’s action and dialogue in the same paragraph

In my next post, I’ll share some ideas I picked up regarding Agents and Publishers.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved