by Alice Reeds
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: August 7th 2018
“Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story.” —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait
They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.
Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.
Something that won’t let them leave alive.
Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.
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The secrets to writing a successful thriller
I’d love to know them, too.
Despite having written ECHOES, I don’t really feel like I’ve unlocked all the secrets to writing an amazing thriller, but there are a few things I did learn along the way. If you can call them ‘secrets’, I’m not sure, but here they are:
False leads and revealing your cards one by one.
Something I feel like my favorite thriller author, Sebastian Fitzek, does very well in his books is setting up false leads, and adding more of them along the way, even though the true answer is usually hidden in plain sight the entire time. Give your readers a possible suspect or idea they can follow, then change their course by adding another one, something neither they or the reader would expect, and then add another. Make them question who it truly might be, what the idea is, or their true intentions, but keep it all plausible. If you make it over the top, it stops being plausible/realistic, which ruins it, or if you make it something too obvious.
Look at Shutter Island or Gone Girl, Ex Machina or Black Swan, they all lead you in one direction, then another, make you believe different things, have confliction feeling while keeping you rooting for their main characters. It’s a fine line they all work with perfectly, mixing brilliant story telling, having layers upon layers of secrets, intrigue, leads, and characters you want to love or hate. And in the end, they all have you on the edge of your seat and surprise you.
Revealing clues and information bit by bit seems like such an obvious answer, but the crucial thing is which of them you reveal when. If you do it too soon/quickly, you’ll give away the final answer and your story turns predictable, if you do it too late/slowly, your reader might get bored, start skimming, or stop reading all together. Timing is key.
Essentially when writing a thriller you’re building two stories: the one on the page, and the invisible one, both happen at the same time and intersect at just the right moments. If you can make the invisible one interesting and full of twists, layers of plans and options, the one on the page will follow, and, in a best-case scenario, they’ll influence each other.
And, then, at some point, you end up with something that might resemble a thriller that will have your readers eagerly turning the pages and wanting to find out what happens next and how everything ends.
About the Author
Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let’s plays and figure skating videos.
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