Writing a Successful Thriller

This workshop is currently delivered live online. We use advanced presentation tools to deliver an interactive, engaging experience.

What's in it for You?

Feeling bored, confused or constrained by the old paradigms? Yet you’d like to write a tightly structured thriller that sells? You’ve come to the right place!

Based on the innovative Story-Type Method®, this two-day workshop explores essential tools for developing a successful thriller, either for Film or TV.

For example, we'll explain how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applies to thrillers specifically. We’ll explore the many sub-genres, as well as one of the most important aspects of thriller writing, which is the management of information / audience POV through the use of mystery, surprise and dramatic irony. To write a great thriller, it’s essential to be aware of the difference between a whodunit and a suspense story. We’ll also discuss Cold Starts and Encore Twists, which are often used in this popular genre.

From creating edge-of-the-seat tension to crafting a satisfying ending, your thriller writing skills will greatly improve with a clearer understanding of these tools.

Using clips, examples and detailed case studies from successful thrillers such as Misery, Minority Report, Se7en, Gravity, The Silence of the Lambs, Taken, Falling Down, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Children of Men, The Fugitive, Hidden, Heat, Mute Witness, The Bourne Trilogy, Breakdown, Jaws, North by Northwest, Memento and many others, we’ll look at the storytelling tools and techniques needed to master this very popular genre.

Writing a Successful Thriller Workshop:
Fees on July 1st, 2021

Excl. 20% UK VAT if applicable

5-9 participants

  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Travel & accommodation costs on top
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
  • Maximum 9 participants

Would you like to bring your script development skills to the next level and give your thriller project a total makeover?

This package will train creative producers, development execs, story editors and writer/directors working for the same independent production company, making sure that everyone in the team is on the same page and equipped with the best tools when discussing thrillers. A separate slate assessment service can be arranged (fee to be defined depending on the number of projects in development).

One or more extra day(s) for project work can also be booked alongside the workshop to allow meetings on individual projects immediately after the last day. See the next column for more details.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop or read Screenwriting Unchained.


£1,995 (4 projects)
For project work meetings

  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Up to four projects per day (90 min. meetings)
  • £495 for each additional project
  • Actual fee varies, written notes optional

While the Thriller Workshop is very practical and allows the participants to focus on a specific project if they want to, there is no time during the workshop to discuss individual projects.

A number of extra days can therefore be booked along with the workshop to make time for specific projects, read in advance (max. 130 pages), to be discussed with the creative team (producer, writer, director, story editor) immediately after the last day.

This fee includes preparation work for up to four projects. It varies depending on the exact number of projects and the actual amount of work requested (for example, written notes given after the meeting are an extra cost).

Beyond the strengths and weaknesses of the screenplay, we'll look at the bigger picture and discuss which resources might be needed to move each project forward and which potential partner(s) might be involved.


From £5,995
for 10-20 participants

  • Includes preparation and delivery
  • Travel and accommodation costs on top
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
  • £295 for each additional participant

This version of the workshop is aimed at regional / national funds or organisations who would like to train a larger number of participants (usually up to forty-nine, though more is technically possible). It's also the option a studio would go for to train their development team and writers developing projects with them.

The content of the workshop can be fine-tuned to a specific audience (for example producers, story editors and development execs, or writers and directors).

While the tools are the same, the approach can be different depending on the participants' role in development. This being said, the workshop works equally well with a mixed audience as long as participants have roughly the same level of experience.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop or read Screenwriting Unchained.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 3 ratings)

Enlightening and inspiring.

Terrific workshop. Emmanuel drilled down into the essence of various types of thrillers. Enlightening and inspiring. Delivered with passion and insight. I recommend Emmanuel’s Story-type method workshop for any writer, producer or director interesting in finding the most efficient and effective way to tell their story. [Thriller Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Ferdia Mac Anna

Extremely useful!

I enjoyed Emmanuel’s lecture ‘Writing a Thriller that Producers Want to Make and Audiences want to Watch’ which he gave at the London Screenwriters’ Festival 2017. I found his talk plus these notes extremely useful in creating the structure for the thriller I am writing. [Thriller Lecture for the London Screenwriters’ Festival]

Rita Wheeler

Highly recommended!

The Thriller Writing workshop I attended was extremely useful and Emmanuel gave us notes and advice that I will without a doubt revisit during the writing process. I would highly recommend attending his workshops. [Thriller Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Dave Thorpe

Have Any Questions?


Don't hesitate to contact us if your question isn't listed.

Who might want to attend a Story-Type Method workshop?

These is an Advanced Development Workshops add-on, so it's not for complete beginners.

The minimum level of experience would be film students with a masters' degree. Most of our alumni are working professionals.

How is the workshop delivered?

Currently, all our workshops are delivered online, using our webinar platform for interactive lectures and Zoom for Q&As.

We are in the process of converting our workshops into self-led online courses accessible to individuals.

Are there prerequisites or language requirements?

All our courses are delivered in English, so a good verbal understanding of the language is necessary.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop or read Screenwriting Unchained.

Register with us to receive our newsletter, access our online courses and

Get Access to FREE Resources

Interactive story tool, book samplers, bonus content, case studies and more!

Shopping Cart
  • Your cart is empty.
Scroll to Top