I took away lots of lessons from ThrillerFest 2016, including the need to spice up dialogue and emphasize active over passive. More than a few faculty members, bestselling authors all, went so far as to encourage attendees to learn about screenwriting techniques. Ever eager to learn, especially now at this early stage of my mystery writing endeavors, I signed up for the next Save the Cat workshop in New York City. For those who don’t know, this famed approach to screenwriting was created by Blake Snyder and described in a series of books he wrote prior to his untimely death in 2009. In a Writer’sRead More →

I’m just back from ThrillerFest 2016, raring to put lots of great ideas into action. Kudos to Kimberly Howe and her colleagues for producing an educational and inspirational event. Thanks as well to all of the faculty members who shared their wisdom and made themselves available for questions. As it turns out, one of the panelists, bestselling author Mr. Thomas B. Sawyer, is a favorite of mine although I did not know it until I attended a session entitled “Playful, Stern or Downright Rude? How Dialogue Affects Thrillers.” Introduced as the showrunner and head writer for one of my all-time beloved shows, “Murder She Wrote,”Read More →

I just signed up to attend ThrillerFest XI next year. If the 2016 conference is anything like the 2015 event, it will be money well spent. This year’s ThrillerFest was chockablock with informative sessions that focused on topics such as story structure, narrative and the use of locale as a character. Other workshops (and there were at least several dozen) addressed copyrights, building a productive relationship with an agent and marketing one’s book. An added bonus was a chance to meet others who love to read and write. The instructors were enthusiastic and the attendees were generous with their insights and occasional frustrations about the writing process.Read More →