Forum: Thrillers

Inspired by @Selorian (Clifford Fryman) and his new #ThrillerChat, which meets on Twitter on Monday evening at 9 Eastern US time, dear Reader, our heroine decided to take a closer look at the genre. I’ve considered my series of stand alone novels to be cross-genres between romance and thriller. After some of the discussions on #ThrillerChat, I had doubts. Time for some research.

Vision: A Resource for Writers has an introductory article to the subject. Titled The Joy of Thrillers by Linda Adams, it gives a little of the history of the thriller genre. More importantly, it lists and describes qualities of a thriller. A handy little guide.

The Jasper County Public Library posted Mystery vs Thriller: The Sixteen Differences between Mystery and Suspense by Carolyn Wheat. Clearly, the author equates the genres of thriller and suspense, something I’ve seen in hot contention. Still, there’s a good deal to be gleaned from this list. You’ll note at the bottom of the article, it states: Taken from Skillman, Trish MacDonald. Writing the Thriller. Writers Digest Books. 2000. Might be worth a good look.

Genres break into subgenres, which can cross into other subgenres. Confusing? Sure is for me. Here’s a list of at least the major subgenres of thrillers. There are examples given for each subgenre. It’s on the site About Thriller, a site that doesn’t seem to be quite up to date regarding links. All the same, this list is a good resource.

Back to Vision: A Resource for Writers and Linda Adams, we find Thriller: Writing the Action Scene. Some writers do this naturally, some tend to balk and have trouble. Regardless of which you are, give this article a look, please. It includes a list of the qualities of a good action scene and goes into details about each one. Good stuff here. has a great column, On Your Seat: Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight. You’ll find easily accessible articles about a wide variety of authors, both those in the current spotlight column and those previously written. I loved looking through this.

The thriller and suspense genres and their subgenres are popular, something easy to see on the best seller lists and throughout these links. Are thrillers and suspense the same genre? Is one a subgenre of the other? I’m interested in your thoughts on this.

Please do join us for #ThrillerChat on Twitter on Monday nights at 9pm Eastern US time, hosted by @Selorian (Clifford Fryman). Transcripts of previous weeks’ chats are available on his site.


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4 thoughts on “Forum: Thrillers

  1. highpreistess March 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm Reply

    Hello, I write scifi flash fiction, and just wrote a novel Birthing the Lucifer star, and I’m looking for ways to advertise my book online, came across this site. My book is filled with suspense and I consider it a scifi thriller in some ways.
    anyway its my first published full length novel. I have written and published alot of flash fiction, this was the first novel attempt


    • Jessica Rosen March 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm Reply

      This isn’t really the best way to advertise your book. I’m going to leave it here in case anyone’s interested in following your link, though, and I wish you all the best with your writing.

      Take care,


  2. Eyelet Curtains November 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm Reply

    books online are great, wether they are e-books or conventional hardbound and paperback books `’*


  3. Optoisolator January 25, 2011 at 12:16 am Reply

    `”: I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ,;,


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