Nothing quickens the pulse like a good thriller. Award-winning author John Gilstrap presents an informative, entertaining day-long program on the crafting of intelligent suspense fiction. What makes for a strong plot? How do you take cardboard characters and bring them to life on the page? Through lively lectures and writing exercises, students get a peek at the skeleton that gives structure to the stories that keep us reading long into the night. (Bring paper and pen because the best way to learn is through the writing exercises.)
9:30–10:45 a.m. Putting Pen to Paper
How to create a believable plot and keep suspense high, even during the less-suspenseful passages.
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Constructing compelling characters
Fans of the thriller and mystery novel genres are tough. They may forgive a faulty plot device, but without a character to admire—and maybe one to hate—they’ll soon find a way to repurpose your book.
12:15–1:15 p.m. Lunch (participants provide their own)
1:15–2:30 p.m. Draft 2 of 30
The practical side of structural decision-making; using an outline; gathering facts; knowing when to stop polishing details.
2:45–4 p.m. After It Is Finally Done
Finding the right agent; pros and cons of self-publishing.
A copy of Gilstrap’s latest book, Final Target (Kensington Publishing), is included in the ticket price.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)