5 Things That Should Always Happen in Thrillers

What makes a genre a genre? It’s more than plot. And characters. Take thrillers. At the heart of every good thriller there are at least five key elements that should be present. If you’ve ever read a lackluster, “low-fat” thriller that left you unsatisfied, it might have been missing one of these ingredients. Put an […]

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The All-Important All-Mighty First Sentence

When you pick up a book for the first time, and the first line grabs you by the—er– throat, you know you’re in for a great ride. As a reader there’s nothing quite as exciting as a line that makes the hairs on your neck rise, or makes you laugh unexpectedly, or intrigues you so […]

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Nanowrimo Writing Lite Video Tip #12: CASTS

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Hope it was a good one.   The last Writing Lite Video tip is a little longer than the others; then again, I’m explaining a terrific system you can use to structure your chapters. It was developed by Author Nancy Pickard, whose thriller THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS is one of my […]

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Nanowrimo Writing Lite Video Tip #5: Character Backstories

There are many exercises and techniques with which you can experiment to develop your characters, but this is my favorite. I use it all the time with important characters, and once I get into it, I’m always surprised to learn who a character really is, what shaped them, what motivates them, and how they’re going […]

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Nanowrimo Writing Lite Video Tip #3 — Raise The Stakes

One of the points we’re always told when plotting a novel, no matter what genre, is to raise the stakes. The protagonist (or his/her loved ones) must confront obstacles, jump over hurdles, or solve problems… or else… But what does that really mean? I explain in this short video. Hope it helps your Nanowrimo project.

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  • About Libby

    Compulsively Readable ThrillersLibby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first.

    She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.