Miss Snark, Is the term thriller widely taken to mean plot-driven, as opposed to character-driven? If so, how should a character-driven thriller be described in a query letter? (Rip roaring, page turning, keep you glued to the couch compelling fiction?)Your blog is sweeeet, as my twelve-year-old would say.
You let a 12 year old read this blog??? You should be kidnapped, bound, thrown in a dark cellar and the fate of the free world should rest on your safe return. Which brings me to "thrillers".
Being adverse to reinventing the wheel I simply lifted part of the definition of a thriller from
these guys who thrill me to bits.
Thrillers are known for their pace, the force with which they hurtle the reader along. They are an obstacle race in which an objective is achieved at heroic cost. The objective can be personal (trying to save a spouse or a long-lost relative) or global (trying to avert a world war) and often is both.
So a thriller is always plot driven, always fast, always a page turner. To distinguish YOUR thriller from the pack, you might talk about character instead of plot. Use some imagination too. No honey haired blondes with exquisite figures, and no mad scientists with bushy hair. Alan Furst makes heroes out of ordinary people. Harlan Coben makes heroes out of guys who live in New Jersey. Talk about brave.