We in the south love our tea. When guests come to visit it is always a good idea to serve tea—hot or cold. The British insist that the water should be boiling hot to bring out the flavors of the tea. And what is more refreshing on a hot day than a cold glass of iced tea with ice cubes? In order to write the best thriller novel possible an author has to serve “T.” Neglecting to boil the water makes hot tea ineffectual and cold tea without ice is just cold tea; in other words, your tea is lacking that special ‘it.’ Writing the best thriller novel possible requires serving “T.” Neglecting to incorporate the following “T’s” is like serving tea that’s lacking that special ‘it.’


The main character(protagonist) and the villain (antagonist) are each trying to reach a goal. One is trying to stop the other. This battle creates the turmoil. Make it a good battle. The antagonist has to seem logical in his or her quest, whether for good or evil. So does the protagonist. Result: The Best Thriller Novel

In “A Moving Screen,” the antagonist, Michael, is a serial killer. Why he kills has to make sense.

Tuned-in Characters

Your characters make your thriller. They have to be real people. In other words, they can’t be perfect. Nobody’s perfect. To write the best thriller novel possible give those characters personality!

In “A Moving Screen” Missy Kinner is definitely not perfect. She’s divorced with issues trying to survive.


Readers need to be surprised. Getting what is expected is boring. When the reader least expects it, turn a corner and go another direction. Heart pounding twists will create one of the best thriller novels.


Leave your readers thinking after they read the last sentence. Just like in the fairy tales of old, give them a moral for the story.