|31 August 2016|
The apparent answer is rather simple. The edge-of-your-seat thrill-a-minute ride is a departure from the ennui of everyday living. Most of us live still lives. Most of us do not actively seek out the extreme thrills in real life; the mundane is boring but comforting. Thrillers allow us to nonetheless enjoy the excitement vicariously through the exploits of our protagonists. Sure, it’s transient, but often, it’s the shot of adrenaline the reader needs.
The best thrillers are the ones that are grounded in reality. The reader would like to know that the events, sinister as they may well be, are within the realms of the possible. Otherwise, it’s either fantasy or supernatural – different, excellent genres in themselves, but not the same as thrillers. It’s important that the events are catastrophic enough for the reader to be engaged to see to it that the disaster does not actually happen. The main protagonists in the thriller, the ones the reader would root for, are often extremely competent physically and mentally, but the best thrillers distinguish themselves in not making the lead characters superhuman. They have to be relatable, the same concerns, fears and troubles as the readers have, would have to be troubles for them too ….