Psychological thrillers are hot right now.
You’ve seen the titles turned into movies. You’ve probably read and watched plenty yourself.
It’s not just the suspense that pulls you in.
Yes, you know something bad is threatening the protagonist, but a big part of the draw is what you get to see going on in the characters’ heads.
You love this genre so much, you want to write your own. But for starters, you need to know the elements of a psychological thriller.
Let’s start by getting clear on what it is — and isn’t.
What is a Psychological Thriller
A thriller is a fast-paced novel full of nail-biting suspense, high stakes, and shocking twists.
Add the word psychological, and you get a thrill ride that shows you what’s going on in the heads of characters — usually the protagonist, but sometimes the antagonist (or both).
Now, we come to the confusion regarding psychological horror vs. psychological thriller.
While both deal with inner conflict or inner threats, some key differences set them apart: