Thriller Roundtable

February 1 – 7: “Which matters more – sentence structure or word choice?

February 1 – 7: “Which matters more – sentence structure or word choice?

This week ITW Members Paul McGoran, Elizabeth Noble and Carol Goodman are discussing tone. In developing a thriller’s tone, which matters more – sentence structure or word choice?    

By January 31, 2016 Read More →
January 25 – 31: “Do thriller writers have conservative or liberal leanings?”

January 25 – 31: “Do thriller writers have conservative or liberal leanings?”

The presidential campaign is starting to heat up! This week, join ITW Members Jean Heller, Alan L. Moss, Claude Berube, Bernard Maestas and Michael Byars Lewis as they debate whether thriller writers have conservative or liberal leanings. Or, are they apolitical?    

By January 24, 2016 8 Comments Read More →
January 18 – 24: “Describe your favorite techniques for strong pacing.”

January 18 – 24: “Describe your favorite techniques for strong pacing.”

This week we’re all about pacing on The Thriller Roundtable. Conciseness, partial clues, short chapters? ITW Members Brendan P. Rielly, W.D. Gagliani, Vincent Zandri, H.A. Raynes, Adrian Magson, Nina Mansfield, Jean Heller, Donna Warner, Bill Schweigart and Heather Moore describe their favorite techniques for strong pacing.    

By January 17, 2016 Read More →
January 11 – 17: “Are the lines between good and evil increasingly more ambiguous in modern thrillers?”

January 11 – 17: “Are the lines between good and evil increasingly more ambiguous in modern thrillers?”

We have a full house this week! ITW Members Blair McDowell, Brendan P. Rielly, Kim Alexander, Rick Ollerman, John H. Gibson, W.D. Gagliani, Bernard Maestas, H.A. Raynes, Jean Heller, R. J. Harlick, C.E. Lawrence and Matthew FitzSimmons have gathered to answer the question: Are the lines between good and evil increasingly more ambiguous in modern thrillers?    

By January 10, 2016 Read More →
January 4 – 10: “Are random character generators going too far?”

January 4 – 10: “Are random character generators going too far?”

The internet is full of helpful websites for crafting and researching plots, history, characters, setting, but are random character generators going too far? This week we’re joined by ITW Members Shiloh Walker, Terry Shames, Bernard Maestas and Jean Heller.    

By January 3, 2016 Read More →
December 14 – 20: “Are thriller writers active enough on social media?”

December 14 – 20: “Are thriller writers active enough on social media?”

Are thriller writers active enough on social media? This week ITW Members Brendan P. Rielly, Larry D. Sweazy, Bernard Maestas, Chuck Greaves, Jean Heller, R. J. Harlick and S. Harrison discuss whether a writer must participate in social media, or if the constant messaging and familiarity diminish suspense?    

By December 13, 2015 Read More →
December 7 – 13: “Are underdog characters as popular in international plots?”

December 7 – 13: “Are underdog characters as popular in international plots?”

Everyone loves a good underdog story. Underdog characters are popular in American thrillers. This week, ITW Members Blair McDowell, Brendan P. Rielly, Toby Tate. A. J. Kerns and Steve P. Vincent discuss whether or not they are as popular in international plots?    

By December 6, 2015 Read More →
November 30 – December 6: “Is poison as a murder method old-fashioned?”

November 30 – December 6: “Is poison as a murder method old-fashioned?”

After a holiday weekend, what better time to talk about poison? This week ITW Members Bernard Maestas, J. H. Bográn, Peter Tonkin and Susan Froetschel discuss whether poison as a murder method is old-fashioned, and if there are some new methods for poisons that evade detection?    

By November 29, 2015 Read More →
November 16 – 22: “Oh, the Holidays…can we integrate them into our plots in a seamless way?”

November 16 – 22: “Oh, the Holidays…can we integrate them into our plots in a seamless way?”

Oh, the holidays…this week we’re joined by ITW Members Paul McGoran, John Hegenberger, Patrick Kendrick, J.D. Horn, John Gaspard, Judy Penz Sheluk, Elizabeth Edmondson and Nina Mansfield to discuss whether or not the holidays can be integrated seamlessly into our plots?    

By November 15, 2015 Read More →
November 9 – 15: “How to accurately write dialogue, settings or historical events.”

November 9 – 15: “How to accurately write dialogue, settings or historical events.”

This week we’re making it real! Making dialogue, settings and historical events real, that is. We’re joined by a full house ITW members, including Paul McGoran, Jennifer Kincheloe, John Hegenberger, Erica Wright, Patrick Kendrick, J. D. Horn, Sherry Knowlton, Robert McClure, Anthony Schumacher, William Lemanski, Toby Tate, D. J. Niko, Earl Javorsky, Judy Penz Sheluk and Elizabeth Edmondson.    

By November 8, 2015 Read More →
November 2 – 8: “What does it take for a book to be a thriller?”

November 2 – 8: “What does it take for a book to be a thriller?”

“What does it take for a book to be a thriller?” This week ITW Members Ann Farnsworth, Paul McGoran, John Hegenberger, Patrick Kendrick, Robert McClure, Anthony Schumacher, Earl Javorsky and Judy Penz Sheluk are discussing whether the answer is the stories, global threats, slightly over the top characters, or all of the above?    

By November 1, 2015 39 Comments Read More →
October 26 – November 1: “Do you find it more difficult to just read for pleasure?”

October 26 – November 1: “Do you find it more difficult to just read for pleasure?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members B. K. Stevens, Eric Beetner, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Diane Kelly, Paul D. Marks, Cheryl Hollon, Peter James, Rob L. Palmer and Bernard Maestas to ask: As an author, do you find it more difficult to just read for pleasure?    

By October 25, 2015 Read More →
October 19 – 25: “Does the layout of your home make appearances in your novel?” 

October 19 – 25: “Does the layout of your home make appearances in your novel?” 

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Camille Minichino, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Paul D. Marks, Sandra Block, Leigh Perry and Rob L. Palmer as we discuss whether the layout of an author’s home, or those of friends or acquaintances, make appearances in their novels?    

By October 18, 2015 Read More →
October 12 – 18: “Should a writer try to stay current, or avoid trends altogether?”

October 12 – 18: “Should a writer try to stay current, or avoid trends altogether?”

Trends tend to emerge among thrillers. This week ITW Members Ellen Kirschman, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Toby Tate, Paul D. Marks, William Lashner and DiAnn Mills discuss whether a writer should try to stay current, and anticipate these trends, or avoid trends altogether?    

By October 11, 2015 Read More →
October 5 – 11: “What is the best change you ever received from an editor? The worst?”

October 5 – 11: “What is the best change you ever received from an editor? The worst?”

Some editors make big changes in a manuscript. This week ITW Members DiAnn Mills, Eric Beetner, Ellen Kirschman, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Tom Avitable, and Kira Peikoff discuss the best changes they’ve ever received from an editor, as well as the worst.    

By October 4, 2015 Read More →
September 28 – October 4: “Must a thriller prompt fear in readers?”

September 28 – October 4: “Must a thriller prompt fear in readers?”

We’ve got a full house this week as ITW Members Lisa von Biela, R. K. Jackson, Grant McKenzie, Hester Young, Baron R. Birthcher, D. D. Ayres and Mark Coggins discuss whether or not a thriller must prompt fear in readers. Can a plot work without that emotion?    

By September 27, 2015 Read More →
September 21 – 27: “Have you given up your day job to write thrillers full-time?”

September 21 – 27: “Have you given up your day job to write thrillers full-time?”

Have you given up your day job to write thrillers full-time? This week we’re joined by ITW Members Lisa von Biela, Baron R. Birthcher and Michael Ransom to ask what advice they have for others considering this leap?    

By September 20, 2015 Read More →
September 14 – 20: “Consistency, logic, commas?”

September 14 – 20: “Consistency, logic, commas?”

This week we sit down with ITW Members Lisa von Biela, Baron R. Birthcher, Lynn Cahoon, Stephanie Gayle and Shane Gericke, and ask: “What do you value most in a copy editor? Consistency, logic, commas?”    

By September 13, 2015 Read More →
September 7 – 13: “Do you spend more time on your research, writing or marketing?”

September 7 – 13: “Do you spend more time on your research, writing or marketing?”

Writers must wear many hats. This week we ask ITW Members Lisa von Biela, R. K. Jackson, Ethan Cross, J. A. Jance, Richard Mabry, Andrew Peterson, Lynn Cahoon, Mark Coggins, Art Taylor and A. J. Kerns: “Do you spend more time on your research, writing or marketing?”    

By September 6, 2015 Read More →
August 31 – September 6: “Does nonfiction writing invigorate your fiction?

August 31 – September 6: “Does nonfiction writing invigorate your fiction?

Opinion essays, feature articles, reviews…does other nonfiction writing invigorate your fiction? This week ITW Members Bourne Morris, Jean Heller and J. H. Bográn will explore the correlation between writing fiction and nonfiction.    

By August 30, 2015 Read More →
August 24 – 30: “Do you read or write outside of the thriller genre?”

August 24 – 30: “Do you read or write outside of the thriller genre?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Mauro Azzano, Laura McNeill, Tim Tigner, Barb Han and Shelley Coriell to answer the question: “Do you read or write outside of the thriller genre?”    

By August 23, 2015 Read More →
August 17 – 23: “In today’s market, does plot alone lead to sales?”

August 17 – 23: “In today’s market, does plot alone lead to sales?”

In today’s market, does plot alone lead to sales? This week ITW Members Mauro Azzano, Barb Han and Jean Heller will discuss how age, life experiences, and a strong social media presence factor into the equation.    

By August 16, 2015 Read More →
August 10 – 16: “Is setting or location an important element of your stories?”

August 10 – 16: “Is setting or location an important element of your stories?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Laura Elvebak, Mauro Azzano, Laura McNeill, Tim Tigner, R. G. Belsky, Bernard Maestas, A. D. Garrett, Jason M. Hough and Diane Kelly, as they discuss setting. “Is setting or location an important element of your stories? Why?”    

By August 9, 2015 28 Comments Read More →
August 3 – 9: “What do you look for when selecting a critique group?”

August 3 – 9: “What do you look for when selecting a critique group?”

This week we’re talking writer’s critique groups and we’re joined by ITW Members N. J. Paige, Donald J. Bingle, Joel Gomez-Dossi, Laura Elvebak and James Abel, who will answer the question: “What do you look for when selecting a critique group to help polish your writing?”    

By August 2, 2015 10 Comments Read More →