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Thriller Writing

Taking your readers to the edge ... (of their seats)

Want to make readers squirm, cover their eyes and grip their seats? Learn where to hide the twists and build suspense. More detail

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Upcoming course dates

StartsTuesday 22 July 2014

Location Sydney,
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenTuesday EVENING classes
(once a week for five weeks)


Presenter L.A. Larkin

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Want the online version of this course?Click here to register your interest

Course description

Danger, action and adrenaline-pumping tension

  • You have an idea that you think could turn into a riveting novel but you’re not sure what to do with it.
  • Maybe you’ve already written the first chapter(s) or have an amazing premise that’s just waiting to unfold.
  • You want to write a thriller that readers can’t put down – and that publishers love.

Thrillers dominate bestseller lists around the world. Just think of Michael Connelly, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, Harlan Coben or Michael Robotham, or movies like The Bourne Identity, The Matrix or The Shawshank Redemption.

Thrillers are not always end-of-the-world scenarios. They can be about very personal stories, such a woman trying to find her missing husband, only to find her life is in danger.

Learn the art of thriller writing

In this course, you will discover how to take your story idea and craft it into an engaging edge-of your-seat novel with characters that people will care about, and action scenes that don’t just dazzle, they make sense. You’ll learn the important elements that make up a gripping thriller and will attract publishers. You’ll write a book readers won’t want to put down.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  •     The eight “must haves” of a good thriller.
  •     How to find the story you want to tell.
  •     Story structure, and how to incorporate key turning points.
  •     Character creation – attributes, motivations.
  •     How to craft the all important opening lines.
  •     The dos and don’ts of action scenes.
  •     Building pace and suspense.
  •     What literary agents/publishers look for in a thriller.
  •     How to craft a satisfying climax.

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • L.A. Larkin

    L.A. Larkin, Sydney

    L.A. Larkin is a thriller writer who has been likened to Michael Crichton and John Grisham. Her latest novel,... View Profile

Video: What presenters say

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Graduate testimonials

  • “No matter how well progressed you think you are with your writing, there is always something valuable to learn, and the thriller course really lays it all out for you in both a practical and inspiring way. My ideas really developed on this course.”

    Kerry Rogerson

    “Louisa was very good – enthusiastic, well presented and well organised.”

    Marie Henderson

    “Louisa is a very passionate and interesting presenter. I thought she handled the diversity of the group very well and she was well planned and prepared to share her personal story. I enjoyed her openness.”

    Lynne Abbott