How to write a thriller

Course Dates: 28/06/25
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Online
Tutors: 
Learn the art of writing a thriller novel, from concept and character to the twists and turns of story pacing.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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SKU
222023
Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £40.00

How to write a thriller
  • Course Code: HW664
  • Dates: 28/06/25 - 28/06/25
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Sophie McKenzie

Course Code: HW664

Sat, day, 28 Jun - 28 Jun '25

Duration: 1 session

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0415

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This one-day session will cover the essentials of writing an edge-of-your-seat thriller novel, covering key aspects of the genre to help you begin your own bestseller.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Character psychology
- Building tension in a story
- Crime and mystery
- Approaches to plotting.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand techniques used by thriller writers to build suspense.
- Develop a killer concept.
- Create a compelling cast of characters.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and suitable for complete beginners as well as more experienced creative writers.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A mix of group work, writing exercises, excerpt analysis and formal instruction from the tutor.

City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Writing materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may want to consider 'Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction' or 'Writing Horror'.

Sophie McKenzie

A former journalist, Sophie McKenzie attended a writing class at City Lit in 2003 and has been writing fiction ever since. She has published over 25 books - including award-winning teen thrillers and crime fiction novels for adults. She is currently writing a new story featuring several strong female characters and working on a drama script for a TV production company.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.