ThrillerFest and Lee Child’s Lessons: Even for Sci Fi

 How to create Suspense? Learn that readers are hardwired to wait for the answer to a burning question, says Lee Child at ThrillerFest. That’s the potential benefit of a attending a conference: hearing those chunks of advice that can bring an entire enigma into simple focus. No matter what you write: Readers will keep turning the page, he said in front of hundreds of us authors crammed into the NYC Hyatt conference room, if you put an important question in front of them (who did it? where will they wind up? how do they get out of this?), imply at least several outcomes, but then make them skillfully wait to see which. Even as a sci fi and paranormal writer, I can always learn universal skills from a Thriller Master like Lee. Which is why reading outside genre is also helpful. Oh, and if you’re a writer looking for an agent, this ThrillerFest and the Writer’s Digest conferences supply them by the dozens, and give you chances to pitch. You can’t beat that.

 

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