How to write a psychological thriller with Erin Kelly – A Guardian Masterclass

Sunday, April 26th 2015

For all the budding crime writers out there:
Dates: Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2015 | Times: 10am-4pm
Price: £449 | Capacity: 16
Erin Kelly.
Learn how to write a thrilling page-turner that readers and publishers will love

There’s nothing like a good psychological thriller – full of twists, turns, suspense and drama. If you want to learn how to turn your idea for a novel into page-turner, this stimulating course will show you how. Over the course of two days, Erin Kelly, bestselling author of The Poison Tree and Broadchurch: The Novel, will teach you how the best psychological thrillers keep readers hooked from the very first page.

Drawing upon bestselling examples such as Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep and Apple Tree Yard, Erin will offer an in-depth introduction to the genre, revealing what readers expect and how to give them what they want. You’ll learn how to create compelling characters and settings, as well as how to exploit viewpoint – one of the key elements of great suspense. You’ll also learn the essentials of plotting and structure, ensuring the twists in your story are in the most effective place.

The course also includes extensive advice on how to pitch your novel to publishers, with a guest session from Ruth Tross, senior editor at Mulholland Books. With plenty of practical exercises and time for feedback, it’s the perfect primer for budding novelists who want to learn how to write a page-turner that will be as satisfying to read as it is to write.

During the course, attendees will be provided with a complimentary copy of Erin’s novel The Poison Tree

This course is for you if…
You’ve started work on a psychological thriller, and want guidance on how to improve your writing and chances of getting published
You have an idea for a psychological thriller that you want to write, and are looking for in-depth advice on how to write a book with popular appeal
Course description
This interactive two-day course teaches the key elements of writing a psychological thriller – from creating characters and settings, to building suspense, tension and uncertainty. Attendees are encouraged to get involved in practical exercises, and also to submit a short covering letter and opening to their novel ahead of the course. Topics covered during the course include:

Borrowing the best from crime fiction in your psychological thriller
How to create dynamic characters and settings
Creating a compelling plot
How to create, build and sustain suspense
How to write with ‘sleight of hand’
How to exploit viewpoint
Twists, turns and climaxes – and how to use them to best effect
Structure – including the ‘then-and-now’ concept common to psychological thrillers
Practical writing exercises and workshopping sessions, with opportunity for positive, solution-based feedback
From pitch to publication
The do’s and don’ts of writing a synopsis
Re-drafting – changes you may have to make to your manuscript, and how to handle them
The market for psychological thrillers
Q&A and group discussion
PLEASE NOTE: Attendees will be contacted ahead of the course with information on a pre-course task They will be asked to submit the first 500 words of their novel, along with a short covering letter outlining their concept and plot.

5c58be5e-4b06-4696-b535-d7a8bfca5687-620x372Tutor profiles
Erin Kelly is the author of four acclaimed psychological thrillers. Her first novel, The Poison Tree, was a Richard and Judy bestseller, and a major ITV drama. She is also the author of the official Broadchurch novel and the accompanying series of short stories. Erin has worked as a journalist since 1999, writing for The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Express, The Mirror, Red, Marie Claire, Elle, Good Housekeeping and many other titles. She has extensive experience as a teacher, having taught many writing workshops at schools, colleges and literary festivals. Erin also teaches long-form creative writing at Curtis Brown Creative.

Ruth Tross is a senior editor at Mulholland Books, an imprint of Hodder specialising in crime fiction and psychological thrillers.

Book now – here’s the link.

Dates: Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2015
Times: 10am-4pm
Location: The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Price: £449 (includes VAT, booking fee, lunch and refreshments)
Event capacity: 16

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