Guest Post: How to Plot Your Thriller in 5 Steps

We’ve all wondered how authors come up with the best ways to plot thrillers, and thanks to Hank Scheer we have five easy ways to outline a thriller book!

  1. Have a likeable person—not a sociopath—be the initiator of the horrific events that drive your story.

     Sarah Brenalen, my protagonist in Fade to Blue, is a well-intentioned scientist who accidentally creates a monster.

  1. As a subplot, build conflict between your protagonist and his or her lover.

     To save her boyfriend’s life, Sarah writes an untrue note to him announcing she’s running away to start a new life elsewhere.

  1. Write a couple of scenes where your protagonist does something almost superhuman—but believable.

     In Fade to Blue, Sarah escapes three times, but doesn’t jump through a plate glass window or pick up a machine gun and miraculously kill a dozen would-be assassins.

  1. Throw in some humor.

     Nonstop peril gets boring.

  1. Don’t tie everything up in a bow.

     End your thriller with unanswered questions—like a classic French movie.

Welcome to the iReads Book Tour of Fade To Blue by Hank Scheer!

FADE TO BLUE by Hank Scheer
Category: Adult Fiction (18+),  288 pages
Genre: Thriller 
Publisher: Top Reads Publishing
Release date:  Mar 2023
Content Rating: ​PG-13 for some bad language


Will Dr. Brenalen’s unauthorized experiment lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s, or will it be used for bioterrorism?

Biotech researcher Sarah Brenalen is frustrated by her boss’s dismissal of her controversial theory, so she secretly injects lab mice with experimental Alzheimer’s drugs of her own design. Sarah is stunned when one of her experiments goes horribly wrong. But Marcel and his international cabal are intrigued. Sarah’s brain-destroying T-3 formulation could be just what they need.

Fade to Blue is a high-tech, fast-paced, cat-and-mouse game played for keeps. What Marcel didn’t count on is that two can play this game.

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About Hank Scheer

Hank Scheer’s writing journey began during a work break when a coworker said, “Hey, let’s write a short story.” They were working for a steel mill in Pittsburg, California, so brainstorming ideas became a fun way to pass the time.

At one point the following week, after the manufacturing process caused a computer to crash, Hank had his idea: an evil scientist creates a drug that destroys a person’s brain.

Now it was a simple matter of plotting the story and writing it. Fade to Blue is the result of three trips to Paris, France, and long weekends spent driving around the San Francisco Bay area.

It doesn’t involve steelmaking, but the science is just as real and the potential for trouble exponentially more terrifying.

Hank is now retired and lives in Martinez, California. He enjoys writing and recording music, world travel, biking, downhill skiing, and supporting other working people fighting for a better world.

connect with the author: website goodreads


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