Thriller writing course with LA Larkin

January 11, 2012

Starting Thursday 15th March at 6:30pm and running for 5 weeks.

If you love fast-paced, pulse-pounding stories about an ordinary but clever hero, plunged into an extraordinary situation, and faced with a seemingly impossible mission, then you enjoy thrillers. As Dean Koontz puts it, thrillers are about characters in “terrible trouble”. Thrillers are part of the crime fiction family, and together they are one of the most popular genres in the world. If authors like Michael Connelly, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, Harlan Coben or Michael Robotham appeal, or movies like The Bourne Identity, The Matrix, Children of Men or The Shawshank Redemption captured your imagination, then this is the course for you. Targeted at people who have always wanted to write a thriller novel, as well as those who have already started their manuscript, my course will give you:

  • An insight into the different types of thriller you could write, and how they fit into the crime fiction family;
  • An understanding of the key ingredients for a good thriller – my 8 “Must Haves”;
  • Techniques to find your story and your voice;
  • A check list for character creation and the opportunity to develop your hero/heroine, and the villain;
  • A simple but effective thriller story structure and an opportunity to plan your story using this structure;
  • In-class support and feedback as you write your all-important opening chapter;
  • Tips on writing action scenes, managing pace and building suspense;
  • An overview of crime fiction agents / publishers, and what, in my experience, they tend to look for in a manuscript;
  • The motivation and confidence to keep writing.

Please contact the Sydney Writers’ Centre to enroll.

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Power and pitfalls of issues based thrillers

I have been asked to speak on a topic of my choice at the February 5th meeting of Partners In Crime, in Glebe, Sydney. The talk starts at 3pm.

My topic is:

The power and pitfalls of issues based thrillers

How do authors like Michael Crichton, John Le Carré, Stieg Larsson, John Grisham and Clive Cussler tap into the issues of their time to create exciting stories with a message? Issues based novels, done well, really pack a punch. But when done badly, they can be little more than an authorial rant. Topical thriller author, L.A. Larkin, talks about the power of fiction to stimulate debate in a non-confrontational way, why so many stunning crime fiction novels ask poignant questions, and the pitfalls of going too far.

Please book with Gayle on

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Spying on Sydney

Join me as well as Dr. Gavin Smith, founder & convenor of Sydney University’s Surveillance & Everyday Life Group, real private investigator, Charles Rahim, Alex Mitchell, a journalist with over 50 years experience in newspapers as a general reporter, political writer and columnist, and author, Katherine Howell.

Spying on Sydney: fact & fiction  Wednesday 15  February
8pm – 9pm
Customs House Library, Circular Quay, Sydney.

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